Local atomic structure of KxNa(1-x)NbO3 with 0.0 ≤ x ≤ 1.0 was studied using atomic Pair Distribution Function analysis based on x-ray diffraction. Powdered crystals were found to exhibit a re-entrant behavior by being orthorhombic (Amm2) for x < 0.42, monoclinic (Pm) for 0.42 ≤ x ≤ 0.63 and again orthorhombic (Amm2) for x > 0.63. Non-centrosymmetric structure of NaNbO3 (Amm2) was also evident in the piezoresponse force microscopy analysis revealing the presence of the ferroelectric domains and switching behavior. Lowering of the crystallographic symmetry for 0.42 ≤ x ≤ 0.63 is discussed in terms of differences in the sizes of Na+ and K+ ions and Na-O and K-O bond lengths. Besides being a bridging phase, as suggested by the previous studies on lead-based compositions, present study suggests that lower symmetry monoclinic phase of compositionally disordered perovskite solid solutions could also be a manifestation of the difference in the sizes of constituent ions and bond lengths.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)