Lehnert, H.; Boysen, Hans; Frey, Friedrich; Hewat, A.; Radaelli, P.
A neutron powder investigation of the high-temperature structure and phase transition in stoichiometric LiNbO3.
In: Zeitschrift fur Kristallographie, Vol. 212, No. 10: pp. 712-719
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The structural changes of stoichiometric LiNbO3 at temperatures up to 1470 K have been investigated by neutron powder diffraction. At Tc ≈ 1460 K, LiNbO3 transforms from a paraelectric high-temperature (R3̄c) to a ferroelectric low temperature structure (R3c). The phase transition is of coupled order-disorder and displacive type. In the high-temperature phase, Li is highly disordered over two off-centre positions, whereas Nb takes a centrosymmetric position within O6 octahedra. An analysis of anisotropic displacement parameters shows that the probability density function of Li is extended along c, that of the oxygens is more or less perpendicular to the Nb-O bonds, and that of Nb is slightly extended in the a - b plane at high temperatures. An increase of the tilt angle of the NbO6 octahedra away from an h.c.p. arrangement towards a perovskite structure was observed. The octahedra become almost regular at high temperatures. Comparison with an earlier investigation of congruent lithium niobate shows a quite similar behaviour, however, all parameters of the latter are closer to those of the perovskite structure at same temperatures. Anomalies in the behaviour of the order parameters, a more complicated disorder and a high mobility of Li at high temperatures are explained by the competition of the order-disorder and displacive character of the phase transition.