The contribution of structural disorder to diffuse phase transitions in ferroelectrics
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Simple crystal-chemical arguments were used to suggest that in the ferroelectric perovskite lead-scanium-tantalate (PbSc0.5Ta0.5O3) the B-site cations in this simple ABO3 structure should be close to the boundary between order and disorder. Both polycrystal ceramic and single crystal materials of this composition have been grown. In this study X-ray powder diffraction is used to identify the strong superlattice reflections associated with the ordering of scandium and tantalum ions in the B-site, and to demonstrate quantitatively how the degree of ordering can be modified by suitable thermal treatment. Thermal changes associated with the ferroelectric Curie temperature have been measured by differential scanning calorimetry and show very clearly the manner in which the diffuse (broadened) transition in this crystal is sharpened by increase in the B-cation ordering.
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