Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 24, 2020
Previous Article Next Article

Metaelectric multiphase transitions in a highly polarizable molecular crystal

Author affiliations

Abstract

Metaelectric transition, i.e. an abrupt increase in polarization with an electric field is just a phase change phenomenon in dielectrics and attracts increasing interest for practical applications such as electrical energy storage and highly deformable transducers. Here we demonstrate that both field-induced metaelectric transitions and temperature-induced phase transitions occur successively on a crystal of highly polarizable bis-(1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)-methane (BI2C) molecules. In each molecule, two switchable polar subunits are covalently linked with each other. By changing the NH hydrogen location, the low- and high-dipole states of each molecule can be interconverted, turning on and off the polarization of hydrogen-bonded molecular ribbons. In the low-temperature phase III, the tetragonal crystal lattice comprises orthogonally crossed arrays of polar ribbons made up of a ladder-like hydrogen-bond network of fully polarized molecules. The single-step metaelectric transition from this phase III corresponds to the forced alignment of antiparallel dipoles typical of antiferroelectrics. By the transition to the intermediate-temperature phase II, the polarity is turned off for half of the ribbons so that the nonpolar and polar ribbons are orthogonal to each other. Considering also the ferroelastic-like crystal twinning, the doubled steps of metaelectric transitions observed in the phase II can be explained by the additional switching at different critical fields, by which the nonpolar ribbons undergo “metadielectric” molecular transformation restoring the strong polarization. This mechanism inevitably brings about exotic phase change phenomena transforming the multi-domain state of a homogeneous phase into an inhomogeneous (phase mixture) state.

Graphical abstract: Metaelectric multiphase transitions in a highly polarizable molecular crystal

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
23 Mar 2020
Accepted
12 May 2020
First published
13 May 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 6183-6192
Article type
Edge Article

Metaelectric multiphase transitions in a highly polarizable molecular crystal

S. Horiuchi, S. Ishibashi, R. Haruki, R. Kumai, S. Inada and S. Aoyagi, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 6183
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC01687J

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements