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Title: Octahedral tilt transitions in the relaxor ferroelectric Na{sub 1/2}Bi{sub 1/2}TiO{sub 3}

The kinetics of octahedral tilt transitions in the lead-free relaxor material sodium bismuth titanate Na{sub 1/2}Bi{sub 1/2}TiO{sub 3} (NBT) is investigated by electronic structure calculations within density functional theory. Energy barriers for transitions between tetragonal, rhombohedral and orthorhombic tilts in cation configurations with [001]- and [111]-order on the A-sites are determined by nudged elastic band calculations. By tilting entire layers of octahedra simultaneously we find that the activation energy is lower for structures with 001-order compared to such with 111-order. The energetic coupling between differently tilted layers is, however, negligibly small. By introducing a single octahedral defect we create local tilt disorder and find that the deformation energy of the neighboring octahedra is less in a rhombohedral than in a tetragonal structure. By successively increasing the size of clusters of orthorhombic defects in a rhombohedral matrix with 001-order, we determine a critical cluster size of about 40 Å . Thus groups of about ten octahedra can be considered as nuclei for polar nanoregions, which are the cause of the experimentally observed relaxor behavior of NBT. - Graphical abstract: Nine orthorhombic oxygen octahedral tilt defects in a rhombohedral tilt configuration. - Highlights: • Chemical order influences energy barriers of octahedral tiltmore » transitions. • The octahedral deformation energy is lower in rhombohedral phases. • Tilt defect clusters are more likely in rhombohedral structures. • Tilt defect clusters can act as nuclei for polar nanoregions.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22475689
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Solid State Chemistry; Journal Volume: 227; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ACTIVATION ENERGY; BISMUTH COMPOUNDS; CATIONS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COUPLING; CRYSTAL DEFECTS; DEFORMATION; DENSITY FUNCTIONAL METHOD; DIFFUSION BARRIERS; ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE; FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS; LAYERS; MATRIX MATERIALS; ORTHORHOMBIC LATTICES; SODIUM COMPOUNDS; TITANATES; TRIGONAL LATTICES