Crystallographic Changes in Lead Zirconate Titanate Due to Neutron Irradiation
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Piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials are useful as the active element in non-destructive monitoring devices for high-radiation areas. Here, crystallographic structural refinement (i.e., the Rietveld method) is used to quantify the type and extent of structural changes in PbZr0.5Ti0.5O3 after exposure to a 1 MeV equivalent neutron fluence of 1.7x1015 neutrons/cm2. The results showa measurable decrease in the occupancy of Pb and O due to irradiation, with O vacancies in the tetragonal phase being created preferentially on one of the two O sites. The results demonstrate a method by which the effects of radiation on crystallographic structure may be investigated.