Physical review B, Condensed matter and materials physics
VOL 96, NO 13-134114-9
We report the dynamics of soft phonon modes and their role toward various structural transformations in Aurivillius materials by employing terahertz frequency-domain spectroscopy, atomic pair distribution function analysis, and first-principles calculations. We have chosen Bi4Ti3O12 as a model system and identified soft phonon modes associated with the paraelectric tetragonal to the ferroelectric monoclinic transition. Three soft phonon modes have been discovered that exhibit a strong temperature dependence. We have determined that the anharmonicity in Bi-O bonds plays a significant role in phonon softening, and that Bi cations play an important role in the emergence of ferroelectricity.