Description: Since the beginning in 1986, the object of this project has been Structural Phase Transitions (SPT) in real as opposed to ideal materials. The first stage of the study has been centered around the role of Point Defects in SPT`s. Our intent was to use the previous knowledge we had acquired in the study of point defects in non-transforming insulators and apply it to the study of point defects in insulators undergoing phase transitions. In non-transforming insulators, point defects, in low concentrations, marginally affect the bulk properties of the host. It is nevertheless possible by resonance or relaxation methods to study the point defects themselves via their local motion. In transforming solids, however, close to a phase transition, atomic motions become correlated over very large distances; there, even point defects far removed from one another can undergo correlated motions which may strongly affect the transition behavior of the host. Near a structural transition, the elastic properties win be most strongly affected so as to either raise or decrease the transition temperature, prevent the transition from taking place altogether, or simply modify its nature and the microstructure or domain structure of the resulting phase. One of the well known practical examples is calcium-stabilized zirconia in which the high temperature cubic phase is stabilized at room temperature with greatly improved mechanical properties.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Toulouse, J.
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