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Title: Symmetry of piezoelectric (1–x)Pb(Mg 1/3Nb 2/3)O₃-xPbTiO₃ (x=0.31) single crystal at different length scales in the morphotropic phase boundary region

We use probes of three different length scales to examine symmetry of (1–x)Pb(Mg 1/3Nb 2/3)O₃-xPbTiO₃ (PMN-xPT) single crystals in the morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) region at composition x = 0.31 (PMN-31% PT). On the macroscopic scale, x-ray diffraction (XRD) shows a mixture of strong and weak diffraction peaks of different widths. The closest match to XRD peak data is made with monoclinic Pm (M C) symmetry. On the local scale of a few nanometers, convergent beam electron diffraction (CBED) studies, with a 1.6-nm electron probe, reveal no obvious symmetry. These CBED experimental patterns can be approximately matched with simulations based on monoclinic symmetry, which suggests locally distorted monoclinic structure. A monoclinic Cm (M A or M B)-like symmetry could also be obtained from certain regions of the crystal by using a larger electron probe size of several tens of nanometers in diameter. Thus the monoclinic symmetry of single crystal PMN-31%PT is developed only in parts of the crystal by averaging over locally distorted structure on the scale of few tens of nanometers. The macroscopic symmetry observed by XRD is a result of averaging from the local structure in PMN-31%PT single crystal. The lack of local symmetry at a few nanometersmore » scale suggests that the polarization switching results from a change in local displacements, which are not restricted to specific symmetry planes or directions.« less
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Publication Date:
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 86; Journal Issue: 18; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-04-06 11:27:03; Journal ID: ISSN 1098-0121
American Physical Society
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: