Kinetics of the field induced commensurate to ferro-electric phase transition in thiourea

K. D. Liss*, M. Kaiser, J. Hlinka, F. Denoyer, R. Hock, R. Currat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The paper examines the kinetics of the electric field induced, first-order transition from the commensurate to the ferro-electric phase in thiourea (SC(NH2)2) at 170 K. The satellite reflection from the modulated phase, locked in with a wave vector q = 1/9b* disappears when the phase transition is induced by a static electric field Ec along the a-axis. In order to study the kinetics of the phase transition, an oscillating electric voltage of rectangular shape was applied to the sample and photon events were acquired separately for ON- and OFF-field half-periods. Results received in a series of measurements at different amplitudes between 0 and 500 V and frequencies between 0.125 and 512 Hz lead to the conclusion that a slow and a fast relaxation time play a role for the OFF → ON and the ON → OFF transitions, respectively. Further, the highest frequency at which the phase transformation still follows the switching of the electric field depends linearly on the applied field amplitude. A qualitative explanation of the experimental results is given in terms of nucleation and growth of specific ferro-electric domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A172-A176
JournalJournal Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number10 A
StatePublished - 21 May 2003
Externally publishedYes


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