Relaxor-ferroelectric crossover in (Bi1/2K1/2)TiO3: Origin of the spontaneous phase transition and the effect of an applied external field
AbstractThe temperature evolution of polar order in an A-site complex perovskite (Bi1/2K1/2)TiO3 (BKT) has been investigated by measurements of dielectric permittivity, depolarization current, and stress-stain curves at elevated temperatures. Upon cooling from high temperatures, BKT first enters a relaxor state and then spontaneously transforms into a ferroelectric state. The analyses of temperature and frequency dependence of permittivity have revealed that polar nanoregions of the relaxor phase appear at temperatures higher than 560∘C, and also that their freezing at 296∘C triggers the spontaneous relaxor-ferroelectric transition. We discuss the key factors determining the development of long-range polar order in A-site complex perovskites through a comparison with the relaxor (Bi1/2Na1/2)TiO3. We also show that application of biasing electric fields and compressive stresses to BKT favors its ferroelectric phase, resulting in a significant shift of the relaxor-ferroelectric transition temperature towards higher temperatures. Based on the obtained results, electric field-temperature and stress-temperature phase diagrams are firstly determined for BKT.