Threshold concentrations in zinc-doped lithium niobate crystals and their structural conditionality
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- Chernaya, T.S., Volk, T.R., Verin, I.A. et al. Crystallogr. Rep. (2008) 53: 573. doi:10.1134/S106377450804007X
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On the basis of precise X-ray diffraction study of lithium niobate single crystals of congruent composition and four zinc-doped (at 2.8, 5.2, 7.6, and 8.2 mol %) crystals, structural conditionality of the threshold concentrations of the dopant has been established. At these concentrations, the mechanism of zinc incorporation into crystal changes. As the zinc concentration increases, this element first substitutes excess niobium, localized in lithium positions, with a simultaneous decrease in the number of vacancies in these positions. Then zinc substitutes lithium with formation of new lithium vacancies. When a certain limit on the number of vacancies is reached, zinc begins to substitute niobium in its main positions. This process is naturally accompanied by a decrease in the number of vacancies to their complete disappearance and formation of a self-compensating crystal. The character of the dependence of the crystal physical properties on the dopant concentration changes specifically when the impurity concentration passes through the threshold values.