Ferroelectric switching and scale invariant avalanches in BaTi O3

E. K.H. Salje, D. Xue, X. Ding, K. A. Dahmen, J. F. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ferroelectric-field switching in BaTiO3 generates "Barkhausen noise" when domain walls are displaced. We show by acoustic emission spectroscopy that electric-field switching of 90? boundaries generates large strain fields, which emit acoustic phonons during ferroelectric hysteresis measurements. We use highly sensitive receivers (microphones) to measure the time sequences of noise in close analogy to noise patterns in ferroelastic and magnetic materials. Domain-wall interactions and jamming generate the "crackling noise" that follows scale invariant avalanche dynamics: the avalanche energy and amplitude probability distribution functions follow power laws with exponents ?=1.65 (energy) and τ′ = 2.25 (amplitudes). Aftershocks are very common and follow Omori law with probability ∼t-p where t is the time elapsed after the main shock and p is the Omori exponent p∼1. The interevent times follow a double power-law distribution with exponents 0.9 for small times and 2.2 for the larger times. The scaling behavior is consistent with predictions of mean field theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014415
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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