Tailoring phase transition temperatures in perovskites via A-site vacancy generation†
The structures across the Sr0.8Ti0.6−xZrxNb0.4O3, 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.6, defect perovskite series were investigated using complementary synchrotron X-ray and neutron powder diffraction data. The locations of second order compositional and temperature dependent phase transitions between the high symmetry cubic Pmm phase and the lower symmetry tetragonal I4/mcm phase were determined. Deviation of the oxygen x coordinate from the high symmetry value and the B–O–B bond angle from 180° as well as the tetragonal strain squared were each found to be suitable order parameters to monitor the transitions. Tolerance factor calculations confirmed that these A-site deficient perovskites retain a higher symmetry to a lower value than their fully occupied counterparts. Therefore, adjusting vacancy concentrations can be employed as a general strategy to design compounds with specifically tailored phase transition temperatures.