Relaxor ferroelectrics have neither long range ferroelectric order nor structural transformation down to the lowest temperatures, and display isotropic optical properties like quadratic electro-optic effect. However, if an anisotropy is forced through an external agent, like electric field or uniaxial strain, a ferroelectric and structural long range order can be induced in these materials. Here, we show that epitaxial strain in relaxor ferroelectric thin films can be employed to induce a linear electro-optic effect, opening the path to new strain-controlled electro-optic materials. Epitaxial thin films with Pb1-3x/2LaxZr0.2Ti0.8O3 (x = 0.22) composition grown by pulsed laser deposition on (001) SrRuO3/SrTiO3 single crystal heterostructures become tetragonal below the susceptibility peak, which occurs at a temperature 140 K higher as compared to bulk. These films show piezoelectric properties and almost linear electro-optic behaviour.

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