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Electric-field-induced transition from incommensurately to commensurately modulated phase

Antiferroelectric-like polarization hysteresis loops in Ba4Sm2Ti4Nb6O30 and Ba4Eu2Ti4Nb6O30 were explained by electric-field induced structural phase transition from nonpolar incommensurately modulated structure to polar and commensurately modulated phase [1]. This discovery opens new perspective direction of investigation of lead-free materials for possible electric energy storage.

Fig. 1: Left – electron diffraction patterns in commensurately and incommensurately modulated phases in Ba4Sm2Ti4Nb6O30. Right – temperature dependence of second harmonic generation signal showing temperature hysteresis near ferroelectric phase transitions in investigated materials.

[1] Kun Li, Xiao Li Zhu, Xiao Qing Liu, Xiao Ma, Mao Sen Fu, Jan Kroupa, Stanislav Kamba, and Xiang Ming Chen, Electric-field induced phase transition and pinched P-E hysteresis loops in Pb-free ferroelectrics with tungsten bronze structure, NPG Asia Mat. 10, 71 (2018).