Lead lanthanum zirconium titanate (PLZT), or (Pb,La)(Zr,Ti)O3 solid solutions, ferroelectric ceramics are being studied for electro-optical applications, as well as for high-speed electrophoretic printing. Thin films of a related material, lead zirconium titanate, or Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 solid solutions (PZT), are used for non-volatile memories and actuators.1 Proper composition and compositional homogeneity of ferroelectric ceramics are essential for application, however the fabrication process may produce materials with element concentrations and thus physical characteristics that may differ from expectation. Therefore, a PLZT reference material for determining the composition of these ceramics would be useful. It will also be useful for quantitative microanalysis; it is stable under the point beam of the electron microprobe (EPMA) at excitation voltages up to 25 kV and probably higher at currents of more than 100 nA.
A specimen of PLZT prepared by the Ceramics Department of the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia was studied with the electron microprobe to determine the composition and the extent of heterogeneity.