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Disrupting long-range polar order with an electric field
Physical Review B
  • Hanzheng Guo, Iowa State University
  • Xiaoming Liu, Iowa State University
  • Fei Xue, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Long-Qing Chen, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Wei Hong, Iowa State University
  • Xiaoli Tan, Iowa State University
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Published Version
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lectric fields are known to favor long-range polar order through the aligning of electric dipoles in relation to Coulomb's force. Therefore, it would be surprising to observe a disordered polar state induced from an ordered state by electric fields. Here we show such an unusual phenomenon in a polycrystalline oxide where electric fields induce a ferroelectric-to-relaxor phase transition. The nonergodic relaxor phase with disordered dipoles appears as an intermediate state under electric fields during polarization reversal of the ferroelectric phase. Using the phenomenological theory, the underlying mechanism for this unexpected behavior can be attributed to the slow kinetics of the ferroelectric-to-relaxor phase transition, as well as its competition against domain switching during electric reversal. The demonstrated material could also serve as a model system to study the transient stages in first-order phase transitions; the slow kinetics does not require the use of sophisticated ultrafast tools.

This is an article from Physical Review B 93 (2016): doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.174114. Posted with permission.

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American Physical Society
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Hanzheng Guo, Xiaoming Liu, Fei Xue, Long-Qing Chen, et al.. "Disrupting long-range polar order with an electric field" Physical Review B Vol. 93 Iss. 174114 (2016) p. 1 - 9
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