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Title: Stabilization of Polar Nanoregions in Pb-free Ferroelectrics

In this study, the formation of polar nanoregions through solid-solution additions is known to enhance significantly the functional properties of ferroelectric materials. Despite considerable progress in characterizing the microscopic behavior of polar nanoregions (PNR), understanding their real-space atomic structure and dynamics of their formation remains a considerable challenge. Here, using the method of dynamic pair distribution function, we provide direct insights into the role of solid-solution additions towards the stabilization of polar nanoregions in the Pb-free ferroelectric of Ba(Zr,Ti)O 3. It is shown that for an optimum level of substitution of Ti by larger Zr ions, the dynamics of atomic displacements for ferroelectric polarization are slowed sufficiently below THz frequencies, which leads to increased local correlation among dipoles within PNRs. The dynamic pair distribution function technique demonstrates a unique capability to obtain insights into locally correlated atomic dynamics in disordered materials, including new Pb-free ferroelectrics, which is necessary to understand and control their functional properties.
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  1. City Univ. of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong (Hong Kong SAR)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Technische Univ. Darmstadt, Darmstadt (Germany)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  5. Aarhus Univ., Aarhus C (Denmark); Lund Univ., Lund (Sweden)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 120; Journal Issue: 20; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1437680