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Materials 2016, 9(1), 14; doi:10.3390/ma9010014

Ferroelectrics under the Synchrotron Light: A Review

1
Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados, Miguel de Cervantes 120, Compejo Industrial Chihuahua, Chihuahua 31136, Mexico
2
Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Cantoblanco, Madrid E-28049, Spain
3
Diamond Light Source Ltd., Beamline I24, Diamond House, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Beatriz Noheda
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Materials)

Abstract

Currently, an intensive search for high-performance lead-free ferroelectric materials is taking place. ABO3 perovskites (A = Ba, Bi, Ca, K and Na; B = Fe, Nb, Ti, and Zr) appear as promising candidates. Understanding the structure–function relationship is mandatory, and, in this field, the roles of long- and short-range crystal orders and interactions are decisive. In this review, recent advances in the global and local characterization of ferroelectric materials by synchrotron light diffraction, scattering and absorption are analyzed. Single- and poly-crystal synchrotron diffraction studies allow high-resolution investigations regarding the long-range average position of ions and subtle global symmetry break-downs. Ferroelectric materials, under the action of electric fields, undergo crystal symmetry, crystallite/domain orientation distribution and strain condition transformations. Methodological aspects of monitoring these processes are discussed. Two-dimensional diffraction clarify larger scale ordering: polycrystal texture is measured from the intensities distribution along the Debye rings. Local order is investigated by diffuse scattering (DS) and X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) experiments. DS provides information about thermal, chemical and displacive low-dimensional disorders. XAFS investigation of ferroelectrics reveals local B-cation off-centering and oxidation state. This technique has the advantage of being element-selective. Representative reports of the mentioned studies are described. View Full-Text
Keywords: synchrotron X-rays diffraction; scattering and absorption; field-induced transformations; local versus global order; strain and texture analysis synchrotron X-rays diffraction; scattering and absorption; field-induced transformations; local versus global order; strain and texture analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fuentes-Cobas, L.E.; Montero-Cabrera, M.E.; Pardo, L.; Fuentes-Montero, L. Ferroelectrics under the Synchrotron Light: A Review. Materials 2016, 9, 14.

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