Formation of unusual nonferroic domains in TeO2 single crystals under external electric field
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The formation of unusual slowly relaxing domains under an external dc electric field has been revealed in paratellurite (TeO2) crystals. These domains differ from those arising in ferroics (ferromagnets, ferroelectrics, ferroelastics, etc.). The effect is characterized by the existence of a threshold field strength (at which domains begin to be formed) and long equilibrium settling times (up to a few hours, depending on the electric field strength). A crystal returns to the initial single-domain state also after a few hours after the field is switched off. High-resolution triple-crystal X-ray diffractometry has revealed that domains retaining the paraelastic tetragonal phase rotate with respect to each other in space without changing their lattice parameter. The domain sizes are 2–4 mm, depending on the field strength. Currently, the exact mechanisms of domain formation are unclear. Possible reasons for the formation of these defects and an analogy of the observed effects with the behavior of liquid crystals under electric field are discussed.
KeywordsCrystallography Report External Electric Field Domain Formation Single Domain State Paratellurite Crystal
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