Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Henry Krakauer


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most important experimental probes of local atomistic structure, chemical ordering, and dynamics. Recently, NMR has increasingly been used to study complex ferroelectric perovskite alloys, where spectra can be difficult to interpret. First-principles calculations of NMR spectra can greatly assist in this task. In this work, oxygen, titanium, and niobium NMR chemical shielding tensors, s&d4; , were calculated with first-principles methods for ferroelectric transition metal prototypical ABO3 perovskites [SrTiO3, BaTiO 3, PbTiO3 and PbZrO3] and A(B,B')O3 perovskite alloys Pb(Zr1/2Ti1/2)O3 (PZT) and Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 (PMN). The principal findings are 1) a large anisotropy between deshielded sigma xx(O) ≃ sigmayy(O) and shielded sigma zz(O) components; 2) a nearly linear dependence on nearest-distance transition-metal/oxygen bond length, rs, was found for both isotropic deltaiso(O) and axial deltaax(O) chemical shifts ( d&d4;=s&d4; reference- s&d4; ), across all the systems studied, with deltaiso(O) varying by ≃ 400 ppm; 3) the demonstration that the anisotropy and linear variation arise from large paramagnetic contributions to sigmaxx(O) and sigmayy(O), due to virtual transitions between O(2p) and unoccupied B(nd) states. Using these results, an argument against Ti clustering in PZT, as conjectured from recent 17O NMR magic-angle-spinning measurements, is made. The linear dependence of the chemical shifts on rs provides a scale for determining transition-metal/oxygen bond lengths from experimental 17O NMR spectra. as such, it can be used to assess the degree of local tetragonality in perovskite solid solutions for piezoelectric applications. Results for transition metal atoms show less structural sensitivity, compared to 17O NMR, in homovalent B-site materials, but could be more useful in heterovalent B-site perovskite alloys. This work shows that both 17O and B-site NMR spectroscopy, coupled with first principles calculations, can be an especially useful probe of local structure in complex perovskite alloys.



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