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Lead Perovskite Relaxor Ferroelectrics

  • Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 (PMN) and Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3 (PZN) are relaxor ferroelectric compounds with perovskite structures. They have striking dielectric and piezoelectric properties that are useful in making piezoelectric sensors and actuators, and have great industrial applications in medical imaging, tele-communication and ultrasonic devices. When doped with PbTiO3  (PT) to form solid solutions of PMN-xPT and PZN-xPT, the piezoelectric responses can be greatly enhanced.

  • We study the structures and dynamics of PZN-xPT and PMN-xPT compounds with neutron and x-ray scattering measurements. Here are some highlights of our research:
    • New phase (X) discovered for small PT doping levels in both PZN-xPT and PMN-xPT. Ferroelectric polarization and lattice distortion are decoupled in a free-standing crystal.
    • Three dimentional mapping of the diffuse scattering from PZN-xPT single crystals provides insight on the size, shape, and polarization of local nanometer sized plor regions (PNR).
    • Inelastic neutron scattering measurements on TA and TO phonons reveal that there are complicated coupling schemes between the phonon modes and diffuse scattering in these compounds.


Neutron diffuse scattering around the (100) Bragg peak