Thin films of lead scandium tantalate (Pb(Sc½Ta½)03) (PST) have been prepared by a novel modified sol-gel process. The process involves two deposition steps. In the first, layers of amorphous ScTaO4 are deposited by spin coating a solution of metallorganic compounds of scandium and tantalum. A film of lead oxide is then deposited onto the surface using a solution of lead acetate, and the process repeated to obtain thicker films. After firing the composite film, a pale yellow transparent film of PST is obtained. The films are highly orientated and 100% perovskite.
The film's electrical properties have been measured against field and temperature, showing a strong induced pyroelectric response (peak value of 3.8 x 10−3C/m2K), peak permittivities of 4500 and low loss. The figure-ofmerit of these films (11 x 10−5Pa−½) indicates a performance equivalent to conventional bulk ceramic pyroelectric wafers prepared by slicing, lapping and polishing of ceramic blocks.