Optical Response of High-Dielectric-Constant Perovskite-Related Oxide

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Science  27 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5530, pp. 673-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.1061655

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Optical conductivity measurements on the perovskite-related oxide CaCu3Ti4O12 provide a hint of the physics underlying the observed giant dielectric effect in this material. A low-frequency vibration displays anomalous behavior, implying that there is a redistribution of charge within the unit cell at low temperature. At infrared frequencies (terahertz), the value for the dielectric constant is ∼80 at room temperature, which is far smaller than the value of ∼105 obtained at lower radio frequencies (kilohertz). This discrepancy implies the presence of a strong absorption at very low frequencies due to dipole relaxation. At room temperature, the characteristic relaxation times are fast (≲500 nanoseconds) but increase dramatically at low temperature, suggesting that the large change in dielectric constant may be due to a relaxor-like dynamical slowing down of dipolar fluctuations in nanosize domains.

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  • Present address: Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1A7.

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