Nanometer-scale local structures of the cubic phase of barium titanate (BaTiO3) are investigated by convergent-beam electron diffraction (CBED) using a nanometer-size electron probe. Breaking of the cubic symmetry has been discovered in the nanometer-scale areas of the cubic phase. This indicates the existence of local polarization clusters as a precursor of the phase transition. Symmetry-breaking index maps for the fourfold rotation symmetry are given at different temperatures with the combined use of scanning transmission electron microscopy and CBED methods (STEM-CBED). A spatially hierarchical structure of the cubic phase is proposed, which may explain different local symmetries reported using different experimental probes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)