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Investigation of the depolarisation transition in Bi-based relaxor ferroelectrics
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The loss of macroscopic polarisation in relaxor ferroelectric (Na0.8K0.2)½Bi½TiO3 ceramics doped with BiZn½Ti½O3 has been studied by electrical and structural methods. These indicate that the phenomena that are coupled in a displacive phase transition are not necessarily coupled in the depolarisation of Na½Bi½TiO3-based relaxors and a concept of correlated and uncorrelated switching of dipoles within adjacent unit cells is used to explain this. Second harmonic generation performed on poled ceramics during heating yields values of the freezing temperature and shows a broad temperature range of ∼100 °C across which the structure changes from field-induced ferroelectric to an equilibrium-state ergodic relaxor. Electrical poling at room temperature causes poled regions to increase in size by ∼2 orders of magnitude. A model illustrating the main steps in thermal depolarisation is described that does not require a phase transition to take place on a unit cell level.
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