Unexpected phase transition sequence in the ferroelectric Bi4Ti3O12
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The high-temperature phase behaviour of the ferroelectric layered perovskite Bi4Ti3O12 has been re-examined by high-resolution powder neutron diffraction. Previous studies, both experimental and theoretical, had suggested conflicting structural models and phase transition sequences, exacerbated by the complex interplay of several competing structural instabilities. Here, we confirm that Bi4Ti3O12 undergoes two separate structural transitions from the aristotype tetragonal phase (space group I4/mmm) to the ambient temperature ferroelectric phase (confirmed as monoclinic, B1a1). An unusual, and previously unconsidered, intermediate paraelectric phase is suggested to exist above TC, with tetragonal symmetry, space group P4/mbm. This phase is peculiar in displaying a unique type of octahedral tilting, in which the triple perovskite blocks of the layered structure alternate between tilted and untilted. This is rationalised in terms of the bonding requirements of the Bi3+ cations within the perovskite blocks.
Guo , Y-Y , Gibbs , A S , Perez-Mato , J M & Lightfoot , P 2019 , ' Unexpected phase transition sequence in the ferroelectric Bi 4 Ti 3 O 12 ' , International Union of Crystallography Journal (IUCrJ) , vol. 6 , no. 3 , pp. 438-446 . https://doi.org/10.1107/S2052252519003804
International Union of Crystallography Journal (IUCrJ)
Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are cited.
DescriptionAuthors thank Dr George Carins for experimental assistance. Y.-Y.G thanks the China Scholarships Council and the University of St Andrews for a studentship.
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