Ferroelastic domain structure of (CH3)4N CdCl3 (TMCC) crystal
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The ferroelastic domain structure and the phase boundaries of TMCC have been studied in the temperature range 114-90 K by direct observation under polarised light. By applying an external, compressive and unidirectional mechanical stress the ferroelastic character of the domain structure has been confirmed. The orientation of the domain walls and phase boundaries are analysed. To characterise quantitatively the observed domain wall distribution the classical symmetry approach, based on the criterion of spontaneous strain compatibility, has to be extended to allow small rotations of the domain walls with respect to their ideal orientation. The observed switching process among the different domains can be understood as a mechanism that minimises the elastic energy.
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