Enhanced dielectric constant and relaxor behavior realized by dual stage sintering of Sr0.5Ba0.5Nb2O6
The relaxor ferroelectric compound, Sr0.5Ba0.5Nb2O6 (SBN50) was synthesized by solid state reaction followed by sintering under two different conditions: single and dual stage sintering. The impact of sintering process on structural and dielectric properties has been studied in detail using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and broadband dielectric spectroscopy. The crystal structure determined by performing Rietveld refinement of X-ray diffractogram was found to be identical in both cases. SBN50 crystallizes in the ferroelectric tetragonal tungsten bronze, P4bm structure. It was observed that uniform grain growth can be controlled by dual stage sintering and relatively narrow distribution of grains can be achieved with an average grain size of ∼15 μm. The dielectric studies show that SBN50 exhibits a relaxor ferroelectric behavior with the transformation taking place at ∼ 380 K due to formation of polar nano regions. Although both single and dual stage sintered SBN50 exhibits relaxor behaviour, the maximum dielectric constant of dual stage sintered SBN50 is found to be 1550 compare to 1440 for single stage sintering.