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Local structure and order-disorder transitions in "empty" ferroelectric tetragonal tungsten bronzes

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Jason A. McNulty, David Pesquera, Jonathan Gardner, Andrei Rotaru, Helen Y. Playford, Matthew G. Tucker, Michael A. Carpenter, Finlay D. Morrison

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The ‘empty’ tetragonal tungsten bronze Ba4La0.67 1.33Nb10O30 displays both relaxor-like and normal dielectric anomalies as a function of temperature; the former is associated with loss of ferroelectricity and was proposed to originate from anion disordering [Chem. Mater., 2016, 28, 4616-4627]. Here we present total neutron scattering and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis which shows an increase in the distribution of oxygen-oxygen distances at the relaxor transition and which supports the proposed anion disordering mechanism. The disordering process can be destabilised by reducing the average A-cation size (i.e. Nd-doping: Ba4(La1-xNdx)0.67Nb10O30); this introduces a more strongly propagating tilt system in line with the previously reported crystal-chemical framework model [Chem. Mater., 2015, 27, 3250-3261]. Mechanical loss data obtained using resonant ultrasound spectroscopy also indicate destabilisation of the disordering process with increasing Nd-substitution.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8492-8501
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number19
Early online date9 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020

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