Polar octahedral rotations, cation displacement and ferroelectricity in multiferroic SmCrO3
1 Department of Solid State Physics, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032, India
2 Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur 721302, India
Received: 17 April 2014
Accepted: 6 August 2014
Our thorough synchrotron diffraction studies provide a clue on the origin of ferroelectricity in SmCrO3. Careful observation demonstrates that polar order develops in the paramagnetic state. Rietveld refinement of the diffraction data confirms that emergence of polar order is correlated with the structural transformation from centrosymmetric Pbnm to non-centrosymmetric Pna21 space group of the distorted orthorhombic structure. Rotations of polar CrO6 octahedra and Sm displacement are proposed to be correlated with the emergence of polar order, which is extended over a wide temperature range and increases gradually with decreasing temperature. This is consistent with the relaxor behavior as evident from the frequency-dependent dielectric response satisfying the Vogel-Fulcher law. A non-collinear to collinear spin transformation is suggested well below the spin reorientation transition. Appearance of ferroelectricity without any correlation to the antiferromagnetic order in SmCrO3 suggests a new class of ferroelectricity. All-electron full-potential first-principles calculation demonstrates significant Sm-Cr hybridization near the Fermi level, which substantiates the experimental findings.
PACS: 75.85.+t – Magnetoelectric effects, multiferroics / 77.80.-e – Ferroelectricity and antiferroelectricity / 77.22.Gm – Dielectric loss and relaxation
© EPLA, 2014