Journal article

Soft and central mode behaviour in PbMg1/3Nb2/3O3 relaxor ferroelectric

The relaxor ferroelectric PbMg1/3Nb2/3O3 (PMN) is investigated by means of dielectric and Fourier transform far infrared transmission spectroscopy in ,the frequency range from 10 kHz to 15 THz at temperatures between 20 and 900 K using mostly thin films on infrared transparent sapphire substrates. While the thin film relaxors display reduced dielectric permittivity at low frequencies, their high frequency lattice response is shown to be the same as for single-crystal/ceramic specimens. In contrast to the results of inelastic neutron scattering, the optic soft mode is found to be underdamped at all temperatures. On heating, the TO I soft phonon follows the Cochran law with an extrapolated critical temperature of 670 K near to the Burns temperature. Above 450 K the soft mode frequency levels off near 50 cm(-1) and above the Bums temperature it slightly hardens. Central - mode-type dispersion assigned to the dynamics of polar nanoclusters appears below the Burns temperature at frequencies near to but below the soft mode and slows down and broadens dramatically on cooling, finally, below the freezing temperature of 200 K, giving rise to frequency independent losses from the microwave range down. A new explanation of the phonon 'waterfall' effect in inelastic neutron scattering spectra is proposed.


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