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Liu, Shi; Cohen, R. E. (2017): Origin of Negative Longitudinal Piezoelectric Effect. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 119, No. 20, 207601
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Piezoelectrics with negative longitudinal piezoelectric coefficients will contract in the direction of an applied electric field. Such piezoelectrics are thought to be rare, but there is no fundamental physics preventing the realization of negative longitudinal piezoelectric effect in a single-phase material. Using first-principles calculations, we demonstrate that several hexagonal ABC ferroelectrics possess significant negative longitudinal piezoelectric effects. The data mining of a first-principles-based database of piezoelectrics reveals that this effect is a general phenomenon. The origin of this unusual piezoelectric response relies on the strong ionic bonds associated with small effective charges and rigid potential energy surfaces. Moreover, ferroelectrics with negative longitudinal piezoelectric coefficients show anomalous pressure-enhanced ferroelectricity. Our results offer design principles to aid the search for new piezoelectrics for novel electromechanical device applications.