Revista mexicana de física
Print version ISSN 0035-001X
OLIVERA, R et al. Why ferroelectricity? synchrotron radiation and ab initio answers. Rev. mex. fis. [online]. 2007, vol.53, suppl.3, pp. 113-117. ISSN 0035-001X.
An old question of solid state physics is being answered nowadays: the atomic-level understanding of ferroelectricity. Traditional ideas about ferroelectric phenomena relate with softening of optical phonons at the Brillouin zone origin and with "W-shaped" Landau free energy functions. Last decade experimental (synchrotron radiation, neutrons) and quantum-theoretical (Cohen, Resta, Spaldin) contributions have clarified detailed descriptions and explanations for atomic behavior leading to spontaneous polarization in perovskite and perovskite-related crystal structures. Work being performed by our interdisciplinary group on ferroelectricity is presented. Perovskite and Aurivillius ferroelectric phases are obtained by different methods. Fine details on crystal structures are investigated by means of synchrotron radiation at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. Electronic structures of considered phases are theoretically characterized by ab initio methods. High-resolution diffraction experiments demonstrate several symmetry break-downs in perovskite and Aurivillius phases. The structure-symmetry-polarization relationship is discussed for a number of representative cases. Ab initio explanation of ferroelectric polarization in perovskite structures is given. Energy calculation is performed by means of CASTEP code under GGA functional. Energy optimization leads to cubic-tetragonal symmetry break-down with off-centering cation displacements via second-order Jahn-Teller effect. Electronic structure is investigated with BandLab code, under LDA functional with LMTO method. Degeneracy of Ti 3d z2 and Ti 3d (x2+y2) orbitals is the cause of cubic-perovskite deformation.
Keywords : Ferroelectricity; synchrotron radiation; ab initio calculations.