Complex polar structures of incommensurate modulations (ICMs) are revealed in chemically modified PbZrO3 perovskite antiferroelectrics using advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques. The Pb-cation displacements, previously assumed to arrange in a fully-compensated antiparallel fashion, are found to be either antiparallel but with different magnitudes, or in a nearly orthogonal arrangement in adjacent stripes in the ICMs. Ab initio calculations corroborate the low-energy state of these arrangements. Our discovery corrects the atomic understanding of ICMs in PbZrO3-based perovskite antiferroelectrics.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/xiaoli_tan/95/