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Antiferroelectricity is a physical property of certain materials. It is closely related to ferroelectricity; the relation between antiferroelectricity and ferroelectricity is analogous to the relation between antiferromagnetism and ferromagnetism.

Ferroelectricity is a characteristic of certain materials that have a spontaneous electric polarization that can be reversed by the application of an external electric field. All ferroelectrics are pyroelectric, with the additional property that their natural electrical polarization is reversible. The term is used in analogy to ferromagnetism, in which a material exhibits a permanent magnetic moment. Ferromagnetism was already known when ferroelectricity was discovered in 1920 in Rochelle salt by Valasek. Thus, the prefix ferro, meaning iron, was used to describe the property despite the fact that most ferroelectric materials do not contain iron. Materials that are both ferroelectric and ferromagnetic are known as multiferroics.

Antiferromagnetism magnetic ordering

In materials that exhibit antiferromagnetism, the magnetic moments of atoms or molecules, usually related to the spins of electrons, align in a regular pattern with neighboring spins pointing in opposite directions. This is, like ferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism, a manifestation of ordered magnetism.

Ferromagnetism physical phenomenon

Ferromagnetism is the basic mechanism by which certain materials form permanent magnets, or are attracted to magnets. In physics, several different types of magnetism are distinguished. Ferromagnetism is the strongest type and is responsible for the common phenomenon of magnetism in magnets encountered in everyday life. Substances respond weakly to magnetic fields with three other types of magnetism—paramagnetism, diamagnetism, and antiferromagnetism—but the forces are usually so weak that they can only be detected by sensitive instruments in a laboratory. An everyday example of ferromagnetism is a refrigerator magnet used to hold notes on a refrigerator door. The attraction between a magnet and ferromagnetic material is "the quality of magnetism first apparent to the ancient world, and to us today".

An antiferroelectric material consists of an ordered (crystalline) array of electric dipoles (from the ions and electrons in the material), but with adjacent dipoles oriented in opposite (antiparallel) directions (the dipoles of each orientation form interpenetrating sublattices, loosely analogous to a checkerboard pattern). [1] [2] This can be contrasted with a ferroelectric, in which the dipoles all point in the same direction.

Crystal solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an ordered pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions

A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macroscopic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consisting of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations. The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification.

A checkerboard or chequerboard is a board of chequered pattern on which draughts (checkers) is played. Most commonly, it consists of 64 squares (8×8) of alternating dark and light color, typically green and buff, black and red, or black and white. An 8×8 checkerboard is used to play many other games, including chess, whereby it is known as a chessboard. Other rectangular square-tiled boards are also often called checkerboards.

In an antiferroelectric, unlike a ferroelectric, the total, macroscopic spontaneous polarization is zero, since the adjacent dipoles cancel each other out.

Polarization density physical quantity

In classical electromagnetism, polarization density is the vector field that expresses the density of permanent or induced electric dipole moments in a dielectric material. When a dielectric is placed in an external electric field, its molecules gain electric dipole moment and the dielectric is said to be polarized. The electric dipole moment induced per unit volume of the dielectric material is called the electric polarization of the dielectric.

Antiferroelectricity is a property of a material, and it can appear or disappear (more generally, strengthen or weaken) depending on temperature, pressure, external electric field, growth method, and other parameters. In particular, at a high enough temperature, antiferroelectricity disappears; this temperature is known as the Néel point or Curie point.

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Dielectric electrically poorly conducting or non-conducting, non-metallic substance of which charge carriers are generally not free to move

A dielectric is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field. When a dielectric is placed in an electric field, electric charges do not flow through the material as they do in an electrical conductor but only slightly shift from their average equilibrium positions causing dielectric polarization. Because of dielectric polarization, positive charges are displaced in the direction of the field and negative charges shift in the opposite direction. This creates an internal electric field that reduces the overall field within the dielectric itself. If a dielectric is composed of weakly bonded molecules, those molecules not only become polarized, but also reorient so that their symmetry axes align to the field.

Crystal structure Ordered arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules in a crystalline material

In crystallography, crystal structure is a description of the ordered arrangement of atoms, ions or molecules in a crystalline material. Ordered structures occur from the intrinsic nature of the constituent particles to form symmetric patterns that repeat along the principal directions of three-dimensional space in matter.

Pyroelectricity property of certain crystals which are naturally electrically polarized and contain large electric fields

Pyroelectricity is a property of certain crystals which are naturally electrically polarized and as a result contain large electric fields. Pyroelectricity can be described as the ability of certain materials to generate a temporary voltage when they are heated or cooled. The change in temperature modifies the positions of the atoms slightly within the crystal structure, such that the polarization of the material changes. This polarization change gives rise to a voltage across the crystal. If the temperature stays constant at its new value, the pyroelectric voltage gradually disappears due to leakage current.

Curie temperature Temperature below which magnetic properties change

In physics and materials science, the Curie temperature (TC), or Curie point, is the temperature above which certain materials lose their permanent magnetic properties, which can be replaced by induced magnetism. The Curie temperature is named after Pierre Curie, who showed that magnetism was lost at a critical temperature.

Ferrimagnetism Type of magnetic phenomenon

In physics, a ferrimagnetic material is one that has populations of atoms with opposing magnetic moments, as in antiferromagnetism; however, in ferrimagnetic materials, the opposing moments are unequal and a spontaneous magnetization remains. This happens when the populations consist of different materials or ions (such as Fe2+ and Fe3+).

Magnetization physical quantity, density of magnetic moment per unit volume

In classical electromagnetism, magnetization or magnetic polarization is the vector field that expresses the density of permanent or induced magnetic dipole moments in a magnetic material. The origin of the magnetic moments responsible for magnetization can be either microscopic electric currents resulting from the motion of electrons in atoms, or the spin of the electrons or the nuclei. Net magnetization results from the response of a material to an external magnetic field, together with any unbalanced magnetic dipole moments that may be inherent in the material itself; for example, in ferromagnets. Magnetization is not always uniform within a body, but rather varies between different points. Magnetization also describes how a material responds to an applied magnetic field as well as the way the material changes the magnetic field, and can be used to calculate the forces that result from those interactions. It can be compared to electric polarization, which is the measure of the corresponding response of a material to an electric field in electrostatics. Physicists and engineers usually define magnetization as the quantity of magnetic moment per unit volume. It is represented by a pseudovector M.

Multiferroics are defined as materials that exhibit more than one of the primary ferroic properties:

Barium titanate chemical compound

Barium titanate is an inorganic compound with chemical formula BaTiO3. Barium titanate appears white as a powder and is transparent when prepared as large crystals. It is a ferroelectric ceramic material that exhibits the photorefractive effect and piezoelectric properties. It is used in capacitors, electromechanical transducers and nonlinear optics.

Ferroics is the generic name given to the study of ferromagnets, ferroelectrics, and ferroelastics.

Hafnium dioxide chemical compound

Hafnium(IV) oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula HfO2. Also known as hafnia, this colourless solid is one of the most common and stable compounds of hafnium. It is an electrical insulator with a band gap of 5.3~5.7 eV. Hafnium dioxide is an intermediate in some processes that give hafnium metal.

A quantum critical point is a point in the phase diagram of a material where a continuous phase transition takes place at absolute zero. A quantum critical point is typically achieved by a continuous suppression of a nonzero temperature phase transition to zero temperature by the application of a pressure, field, or through doping. Conventional phase transitions occur at nonzero temperature when the growth of random thermal fluctuations leads to a change in the physical state of a system. Condensed matter physics research over the past few decades has revealed a new class of phase transitions called quantum phase transitions which take place at absolute zero. In the absence of the thermal fluctuations which trigger conventional phase transitions, quantum phase transitions are driven by the zero point quantum fluctuations associated with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

In physics, photon-induced electric field poling is a phenomenon whereby a pattern of local electric field orientations can be encoded in a suitable ferroelectric material, such as perovskite. The resulting encoded material is conceptually similar to the pattern of magnetic field orientations within the magnetic domains of a ferromagnet, and thus may be considered as a possible technology for computer storage media. The encoded regions are optically active and thus may be "read out" optically.

Ice XI orthorhombic form of ice

Ice XI is the hydrogen-ordered form of Ih, the ordinary form of ice. Different phases of ice, from ice II to ice XVI, have been created in the laboratory at different temperatures and pressures. The total internal energy of ice XI is about one sixth lower than ice Ih, so in principle it should naturally form when ice Ih is cooled to below 72 K. The low temperature required to achieve this transition is correlated with the relatively low energy difference between the two structures. Water molecules in ice Ih are surrounded by four semi-randomly directed hydrogen bonds. Such arrangements should change to the more ordered arrangement of hydrogen bonds found in ice XI at low temperatures, so long as localized proton hopping is sufficiently enabled; a process that becomes easier with increasing pressure. Correspondingly, ice XI is believed to have a triple point with hexagonal ice and gaseous water at.

Ferroelectric polymer

Ferroelectric polymers are a group of crystalline polar polymers that are also ferroelectric, meaning that they maintain a permanent electric polarization that can be reversed, or switched, in an external electric field.

Thermally stimulated depolarization current (TSDC) is a scientific technique used to measure dielectric properties of materials. It can be used to measure the thermally stimulated depolarization of molecules within a material. One method of doing so is to place the material between two electrodes, cool the material in the presence of an external electric field, remove the field once a desired temperature has been reached, and measure the current between the electrodes as the material warms. The external electric field must be applied at a sufficiently high temperature to allow the molecular dipoles time to align with the field. Because the dielectric relaxation time increases exponentially on cooling, the polarization caused by their alignment with the field gets "frozen-in". So when the field is removed and the material begins to warm the dipoles begin to "thaw" whereby losing their net alignment and thus the material become depolarized. This depolarization can be measured if the material is sandwiched between two ohmic electrodes and the current is measured on warming. As the material depolarizes, charges are pulled to the electrodes which causes a current through the measuring device.

Relaxor ferroelectrics are ferroelectric materials that exhibit high electrostriction. As of 2015, although they have been studied for over fifty years, the mechanism for this effect is still not completely understood, and is the subject of continuing research.

A polar metal, metallic ferroeletric, or ferroelectric metal is a metal that contains an electric dipole moment. Its components have an ordered electric dipole. Such metals should be unexpected, because the charge should conduct by way of the free electrons in the metal and neutralize the polarized charge. However they do exist. Probably the first report of a polar metal was in single crystals of the cuprate superconductors YBa2Cu3O7-δ,. A polarization was observed along one (001) axis by pyroelectric effect measurements, and the sign of the polarization was shown to be reversible, while its magnitude could be increased by poling by an electric field. The polarization was found to disappear in the superconducting state.. The lattice distortions responsible were considered to be a result of oxygen ion displacements induced by doped charges that break inversion symmetry. The effect was utilized for fabrication of pyroelectric detectors for space applications, having the advantage of large pyroelectric coefficient and low intrinsic resistance. Another substance family that can produce a polar metal is the nickelate perovskites. One example interpreted to show polar metallic behavior is lanthanum nickelate, LaNiO3. A thin film of LaNiO3 grown on the (111) crystal face of lanthanum aluminate, (LaAlO3) was interpreted to be both conductor and a polar material at room temperature. The resistivity of this system, however, shows an upturn with decreasing temperature, hence does not strictly adhere to the definition of a metal. Also, when grown 3 or 4 unit cells thick (1-2 nm) on the (100) crystal face of LaAlO3, the LaNiO3 can be a polar insulator or polar metal depending on the atomic termination of the surface. Lithium osmate, LiOsO3 also undergoes a ferrorelectric transition when it is cooled below 140K. The point group changes from R3c to R3c losing its centrosymmetry. At room temperature and below, lithium osmate is an electric conductor, in single crystal, polycrystalline or powder forms, and the ferroelectric form only appears below 140K. Above 140K the material behaves like a normal metal.


  1. Compendium of chemical terminology - Gold Book (PDF). International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  2. Charles Kittel (1951). "Theory of Antiferroelectric Crystals". Phys. Rev. 82 (5): 729–732. Bibcode:1951PhRv...82..729K. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.82.729.