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Defect-Induced (Dis)Order in Relaxor Ferroelectric Thin Films.


The effect of intrinsic point defects on relaxor properties of 0.68 PbMg_{1/3}Nb_{2/3}O_{3}-0.32 PbTiO_{3} thin films is studied across nearly 2 orders of magnitude of defect concentration via ex post facto ion bombardment. A weakening of the relaxor character is observed with increasing concentration of bombardment-induced point defects, which is hypothesized to be related to strong interactions between defect dipoles and the polarization. Although more defects and structural disorder are introduced in the system as a result of ion bombardment, the special type of defects that are likely to form in these polar materials (i.e., defect dipoles) can stabilize the direction of polarization against thermal fluctuations, and in turn, weaken relaxor behavior.

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