Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Physics


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Joseph R. Gladden

Second Advisor

P. Raju Mantena

Third Advisor

Kevin Beach

Relational Format



Relaxor ferroelectric lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT) material exhibits exceptional electromechanical properties. The material undergoes a series of structural phase transitions with changes in temperature and the chemical composition. The work covered in this dissertation seek to gain insight into the phase diagram of PMN-PT using temperature and pressure dependence of the elastic properties. Single crystal PMN-PT with a composition near morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) was investigated using a resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS) methodologies in the temperature range of 293 K - 800 K and the pressure range from near vacuum to 3.4 MPa. At atmospheric pressure, significantly high acoustic attenuation of PMN-PT is observed at temperatures below 400 K. A strong stiffening is observed in the temperature range of 400 K - 673 K, folloby a gradual softening at higher temperatures. With varying pressure, an increased pressure sensitivity of the elastic properties of PMN-PT is observed at the temperatures in the stiffening phase. Elastic behavior at elevated temperatures and pressures were studied for correlations with the ferroelectric domains at temperatures below the Curie temperature (TC), the locally polarized nano-regions, and an existence of pseudo-cubic crystalline at higher temperatures between (TC and TB). Thermoelectric lanthanum tellurides and skutterudites are being investigated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for advanced thermoelectric generates (TEGs). Effects of nickel (Ni) doping on elastic properties of lanthanum tellurides at elevated temperatures were investigated in the temperature range of 293 K - 800 K. A linear stiffening was observed with increasing the Ni content in the material. Elastic properties of p-type and n-type bismuth-based skutterudites were investigated in the temperature range of 293 K - 723 K. Elastic properties of rare-earth doped strontium titanate were also investigated in the temperature range of 293 K - 750 K.

Included in

Physics Commons



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