This dissertation presents work done on characterizing the defects and transport properties of congruent LiNbO _3. The focus of the study is the high temperature (800^circC to 1000^circC) equilibrium defect structure. The majority defects are described in terms of the 'LiNbO_3-ilmenite' defect model previously presented (26). Here the emphasis is placed on quantifying the defect concentrations. Congruent LiNbO_3 is highly nonstoichiometric. The large concentration of ionic defects present are mobile and contribute to electrical conduction. The ionic conduction was separated from the total conduction using defect chemistry and the transference number thus obtained was checked against the transference number obtained in a galvanic cell measurement. LiNbO_3 is an insulator (band gap = 4 eV). Hence one assumes that almost all of the conduction electrons are created by reduction. The degree of oxygen nonstoichiometry, a measure of the extent of chemical reduction, and the electron concentrations, were quantified as a function of oxygen partial pressure and the temperature by coulometric titration. The nonstoichiometry thus obtained was compared with nonstoichiometry obtained by TGA measurements. By fixing the phase composition of the sample in a buffered system, a set of constant composition measurements could be undertaken. These constant composition measurements were used to obtain the enthalpy of formation of conduction electrons, 1.95 eV, and the hopping energy for their motion at elevated temperatures, 0.55 eV, independently. The sum of the two energies was obtained by measuring the temperature dependence of the electronic conduction. The sum of the energies was found to be in excellent agreement with the energy obtained from equilibrium conduction. In conclusion, a quantitative and self-consistent picture of defects and their migration in LiNbO _3 was obtained.
- Pub Date:
- January 1990