Crystallographic Changes in Lead Zirconate Titanate Due to Neutron Irradiation

Alexandra Henriques
Joseph T. Graham, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Sheldon Landsberger
Jon F. Ihlefeld
Geoff L. Brennecka
Donald W. Brown
Jennifer S. Forrester
Jacob L. Jones

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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.