Polymorphism in micro-, submicro-, and nanocrystalline NaNbO3
NaNbO3 powders with various particle sizes (ranging from 30 nm to several microns) and well-controlled stoichiometry were obtained through microemulsion-mediated synthesis. The effect of particle size on the phase transformation of the prepared NaNbO3 Powders was studied using X-ray powder diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and nuclear site group analysis based on these spectroscopic data. Coarsened particles exhibit an orthorhombic Pbcm (D-2h(11), no. 57) structure corresponding to the bulk structure, as observed for single crystals or powders prepared by conventional solid-state reaction. The crystal symmetry of submicron powders was refined with the space group Pmc2(1) (C-2v(2), no. 26). The reduced perovskite cell volumes of these submicron powders were most expanded compared to all the other structures. Fine particles with a diameter of less than 70 nm as measured from SEM observations showed an orthorhombic Pmma (D-2h(5), no. 51) crystal symmetry. The perovskite formula cell of this structure was pseudocubic and was the most compact one. A possible mechanism of the phase transformation is suggested.