X-ray scattering study of the transition dynamics in relaxor ferroelectric Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3

V. Gosula, A. Tkachuk, K. Chung, H. D. Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Results of a series of synchrotron radiation scattering studies of a Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 (PMN) single crystal are presented. The temperature dependence of the 1:1 chemical short-range order (SRO) peaks, e.g. 1/2(115), was studied in detail from 40 to 473 K. At low temperatures, the temperature dependence is very strong, but as the temperature is raised above room temperature, the dependence becomes very weak. Moreover, a secondary peak becomes evident below 100 K. It is suggested here that this change in behavior is due to an anti-phase tilting of the oxygen octahedra coupled with some ordering of the Pb displacements. The temperature dependence of the H2(hk2l) positions, e.g. 1/2(015) and 1/2(017), were carefully studied through the transition down to 40 K, as well. Peaks at these positions appear at low temperatures due to the in-phase tilting of the BO6 octahedra, but its long-range order is never established. These results imply that both ferroelectric and anti-ferroelectric fluctuations are present in the structure and are evidence of competing interactions in PMN. Along with the quenched disorder due to the B-site randomness, these interactions induce orientational frustration of electric dipoles (Pb-O) in the structure and lead to the observed dielectric behavior. Thus, PMN possesses the underlying physical characteristics of a dipole glass system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
EventProceedings of the 1999 Williamsburg Workshop on Ferroelectrics - Williamsburg, VA, United States
Duration: 31 Jan 19993 Feb 1999


  • C. X-ray diffraction
  • D. Crystal structure
  • D. Ferroelectricity
  • D. Phase transitions

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