Anisotropic Local Correlations and Dynamics in a Relaxor Ferroelectric
Relaxor ferroelectrics have been a focus of intense attention due to their anomalous properties, and understanding the structure and dynamics of relaxors has been one of the long-standing challenges in solid-state physics. We investigate the local structure and dynamics in 75%PbMg1/3Nb2/3O3-25%PbTiO3 using molecular dynamics simulations and the dynamic pair distribution function technique. We show that relaxor transitions can be described by local order parameters. The relaxor phase is characterized by the presence of highly anisotropic correlations between the local cation displacements that resemble the hydrogen bond network in water. This contradicts the current model of polar nanoregion inside a nonpolar matrix. We therefore suggest a new model of a homogeneous random network of anisotropically coupled dipoles.