7Li NMR Investigation of Li-Li Pair Ordering in the Paraelectric Phase of Weakly Substitutionally Disordered

Boštjan Zalar,
Andrija Lebar,
David C. Ailion,
I. V. Kondakova,

Інститут проблем матеріалознавства ім. І. М. Францевича НАН України , вул. Кржижановського 3, Київ, 03142, Україна
Phys. Rev. Lett. - Меріленд, США: Американське Фізичне Суспільство (APS), 2010, #105


Breaking of the average cubic symmetry in Li-doped potassium tantalate was observed with quadrupole-perturbed 7Li NMR at temperatures (150–400 K) far above the nominal glass transition temperature (≈50 K for Li concentration x=0.03). The observed spectrum consists of contributions from both isolated Li ions (i.e., with no nearest-neighbor Li) and from Li-Li pairs. The isolated Li ions move among six equivalent off-center sites in a potential having cubic symmetry. These have zero average electric field gradient and, hence, exhibit no quadrupole splitting. In addition, very low intensity, but well resolved, quadrupole satellites having a temperature-dependent splitting were observed. This splitting indicates that the various Li-Li pair configurations are not all equally probable. These are the first direct observations of biased Li ion ordering that persists in the paraelectric phase at temperatures high above the glass phase.