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See detailUnderstanding ferroelectricity in layered perovskites: new ideas and insights from theory and experiments
Benedek, Nicole; Rondinelli, James; Djani-Ait, Hania ULg et al

in Dalton Transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003) (2015), 44(23), 10527-10890

ABO3 perovskites have fascinated solid-state chemists and physicists for decades because they display a seemingly inexhaustible variety of chemical and physical properties. However, despite the diversity ... [more ▼]

ABO3 perovskites have fascinated solid-state chemists and physicists for decades because they display a seemingly inexhaustible variety of chemical and physical properties. However, despite the diversity of properties found among perovskites, very few of these materials are ferroelectric, or even polar, in bulk. In this Perspective, we highlight recent theoretical and experimental studies that have shown how a combination of non-polar structural distortions, commonly tilts or rotations of the BO6 octahedra, can give rise to polar structures or ferroelectricity in several families of layered perovskites. We discuss the crystal chemical origin of the polarization in each of these families – which emerges through a so-called ‘trilinear coupling’ or ‘hybrid improper’ mechanism – and emphasize areas in which further theoretical and experimental investigation is needed. We also consider how this mechanism may provide a generic route for designing not only new ferroelectrics, but also materials with various other multifunctionalities, such as magnetoelectrics and electric field-controllable metal-insulator transitions. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst-principles characterization of the P21ab ferroelectric phase of Aurivillius Bi2WO6
Djani-Ait, Hania ULg; Hermet, Patrick ULg; Ghosez, Philippe ULg

in Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2014), 118

The structural, dielectric, dynamical, elastic, piezoelectric and nonlinear optical (second-order susceptibility and Pockels tensors) properties of Bi2WO6 in its P21ab ferroelectric ground state are ... [more ▼]

The structural, dielectric, dynamical, elastic, piezoelectric and nonlinear optical (second-order susceptibility and Pockels tensors) properties of Bi2WO6 in its P21ab ferroelectric ground state are determined using density functional theory. The calculation of infrared and Raman spectra on single crystal allowed us to clarify the assignment of experimental phonon modes, considering the good agreement between the calculated and the experimental Raman spectra obtained on polycrystal. The calculation of the elastic constants con rms the elastic stability of the crystal and allow us to estimate the Young and shear moduli of polycrystalline samples. The piezoelectric constants have signi cant intrinsic values comparable to those of prototypical ABO3 ferroelectrics. The electro-optic response is strongly dominated by the ionic contribution of transverse optic modes, yielding sizable Pockels coe cients around 9 pm/V along the polar direction. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst-principles study of the ferroelectric Aurivillius phase Bi2WO6
Djani-Ait, Hania ULg; Bousquet, Eric ULg; Kellou, Abdelhafid et al

in Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (2012), 86

In order to better understand the reconstructive ferroelectric-paraelectric transition of Bi2WO6, which is unusual within the Aurivillius family of compounds, we performed first-principles calculations of ... [more ▼]

In order to better understand the reconstructive ferroelectric-paraelectric transition of Bi2WO6, which is unusual within the Aurivillius family of compounds, we performed first-principles calculations of the dielectric and dynamical properties of two possible high-temperature paraelectric structures—the monoclinic phase of A2/m symmetry observed experimentally and the tetragonal phase of I4/mmm symmetry—common to most Aurivillius-phase components. Both paraelectric structures exhibit various unstable modes, which, after their condensation, bring the system toward more stable structures of lower symmetry. The calculations confirm that, starting from the paraelectric A2/m phase at high temperatures, the system must undergo a reconstructive transition to reach the P21ab ferroelectric ground state. [less ▲]

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