Charged domain walls form spontaneously in Cu-Cl boracite on cooling through the phase transition. These walls exhibit changed conductivity compared to the bulk and motion consistent with the existence of negative capacitance. Here, we present the dielectric permittivity and DC resistivity of bulk Cu-Cl boracite as a function of temperature (−140 to 150 °C) and frequency (1 mHz to 10 MHz). The thermal behavior of the two observed dielectric relaxations and the DC resistivity is discussed. We propose that the relaxations can be explained by the existence of point defects, most likely local complexes created by a change of valence of Cu and accompanying oxygen vacancies. In addition, the sudden change in resistivity seen at the phase transition suggests that conductive domain walls contribute significantly to the conductivity in the ferroelectric phase.
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)