Phase coexistence in ferroelectric solid solutions near the tricritical point has been theoretically analyzed by using the Landau-Devonshire theory. Results revealed that different phases having similar potential wells could coexist in a narrow composition range near the tricritical point in the classical Pb(Zr1-xTix)O3 system. The potential barrier between potential wells increases with the decrease of temperature. Coexisting phases or different domains of the same phase can produce adaptive strains to maintain atomic coherency at the interfaces or domain walls. Such compatibility strains have influence on the energy potential as well as the stability of relative phases, leading to the appearance of energetically unfavorable monoclinic phases. Those competing and coexisting phases also construct an easy phase transition path with small energy barrier in between, so that very small stimuli can produce large response in compositions near the morphotropic phase boundary, especially near the tricritical point.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)