3 years ago

Unusual Long-Range Ordering Incommensurate Structural Modulations in an Organic Molecular Ferroelectric

Unusual Long-Range Ordering Incommensurate Structural Modulations in an Organic Molecular Ferroelectric
Chengmin Ji, Junliang Sun, Jian Li, Zhihua Sun, Maochun Hong, Junhua Luo
The incommensurate (IC) behaviors of ferroelectrics have been widely investigated in inorganic oxides as an exciting branch for aperiodic materials, whereas it still remains a great challenge to achieve such intriguing effects in organic systems. Here, we present that successive ordering of dynamic dipoles in an organic molecular ferroelectric, N-isopropylbenzylaminium trichloroacetate (1), enables unusual incommensurately modulated structures between its paraelectric phase and ferroelectric phase. In particular, 1 exhibits three distinct IC states coupling with a long-range ordering modulation. That is, the incommensurately modulated lattice is ∼7 times as large as its periodic prototype, and the IC structure is well solved using a (3 + 1)D superspace group with the modulated wavevector q = (0, 0, 0.1589). To the best of our knowledge, 1 is the first organic ferroelectric showing such a long-range ordering IC structural modulation. In addition, structural analyses reveal that slowing down dynamic motions of anionic moieties accounts for its modulation behaviors, which also results in dramatic reorientation of dipolar moments and concrete ferroelectric polarization of 1 (∼0.65 μC/cm2). The combination of unique IC structural modulations and ferroelectricity makes 1 a potential candidate for the assembly of an artificially modulated lattice, which will allow for a deep understanding of the underlying chemistry and physics of aperiodic materials.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b08950

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b08950

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