Formation mechanism and elimination methods for anti-site defects in LiNbO3/LiTaO3 crystals
Lithium niobate (LiNbO3 or LN) and lithium tantalate (LiTaO3 or LT) crystals, which have been widely applied in many fields such as electro-optics, birefringence, nonlinear optics, photorefraction, piezoelectricity and other areas, are reviewed. The studies of the properties and growth techniques are reviewed to give a brief idea of the growth of LN and LT crystals with high quality. The anti-site defects of these crystal materials have been accepted as one of the key factors constraining the improvement of their properties. This review shows the simulated calculation and structure of anti-site defects in LN/LT crystals and their effect on the physical properties and summarizes the recent progress in theoretical and technical processes, including the improved applications. We reviewed two main methods for the elimination of anti-site defects: doping of metal ions and growth of stoichiometric crystals. Finally, the prospects for future studies are outlined.