Polymorphic transition and nucleation pathway of barium dititanate (BaTiO) during crystallization from undercooled liquid.

Author(s) Ge, X.; Hu, Q.; Lu, W.; Cao, S.; Yang, L.; Xu, M.; Xia, M.; Li, J.
Journal Sci Rep
Date Published 2019 May 10
Abstract

The nucleation pathway plays an important role in vitrification, preparation of glass-ceramic composites and synthesis of metastable materials. In this paper, we studied the nucleation pathway of a novel ferroelectric BaTiO (BT2) during crystallization from undercooled liquid by aerodynamic levitation (ADL) containerless processing and structural analysis. An interesting polymorphic transition of BT2 regulated by the undercooling was observed during the crystallization process: the ferroelectric monoclinic phase (γ-BT2) was fabricated at low undercoolings and the paraelectric orthorhombic metastable phase (β-BT2) was obtained from hypercooled liquid. This polymorphic transition phenomenon corresponds to a non-classical nucleation pathway: metastable β-BT2 preferentially nucleates from undercooled melt and γ-BT2 is generated from β phase by solid-state phase transition. The two-step nucleation pathway stems from the structural heredity between the undercooled liquid and crystals. A stronger structural homology exists between the undercooled melt and β-BT2 than γ-BT2 based on diffraction data and atomic configurations analysis. This structural homology coupled with nucleation barrier calculation was used to elucidate the non-classical nucleation pathway of BT2 crystallization: the similarity of the structural unit (Ti-O polyhedra) between the undercooled liquid and the metastable β-BT2 reduces the nucleation barrier and contributes to the preferential precipitation of β-like clusters. This work reveals the formation route of BT2 from cooling melt, which not only benefits the synthesis and application of this novel functional material but also provides a guideline of the crystallization process of titanates from melt at atomic level.

DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-43357-6
ISSN 2045-2322
Citation Ge X, Hu Q, Lu W, Cao S, Yang L, Xu M, et al. Polymorphic transition and nucleation pathway of barium dititanate (BaTiO) during crystallization from undercooled liquid. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):7207.