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Department of Dielectrics

Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences

group Dielectric and IR spectroscopy science Dielectric and IR spectroscopy group THz and pump-probe science THz science and technology group Photon and neutron scattering group Light and neutron scattering group Theory Theory and
group Solid materials science Solid-state materials science group Liquid crystal material science Liquid crystals

About us

Main activities of Department of Dielectrics cover experimental and theoretical investigations of high-permittivity insulators like liquid crystals, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, piezoelectrics, semiconductor nanostructures, and low-loss materials.

Photo of people of Dielectrics
Our mission: Understanding the materials for which the frequency dependence of dielectric function can be probed by capacitance, waveguide or optical techniques. Experimental research in the Department of Dielectrics is mostly based on dielectric, infrared, time-domain THz, Raman and neutron spectroscopy, but also calorimetry, nonlinear optics and scanning probe microscopy measurements. The information on the core research activities organized within our six principal research groups can be accessed through the following links:

The most significant fresh scientific results of our deparment are listed in the section Highlights.

News & Public


The 11th Dvorak lecture given by Prof. Ramamoorthy Ramesh

This year the annual Dvořák lecture will be given by Prof. R. Ramesh, an outstanding expert in multiferroics - the research field very close to Vladimír Dvořák's scientific expertise. His talk called 'Electric Field Control of Magnetism: From Global Markets to Spin Orbit Coupling' is going to be given on Friday, June 21st, 2019 at 14:00 at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Na Slovance 2, 182 21 Praha 8, Czech Republic

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Special issue in honor of Jan Petzelt

A special Issue of Ferroelectrics was dedicated to Dr. Jan Petzelt in recognition of his contributions to the scientific community on the occasion of his 77th birthday. His brilliant scientific career over past five decades was summarized by S. Kamba et al. in the editorial. His professional impact and friendly personality are well expressed in tributes to Jan written by J. Hlinka, E. Buixaderas, and G. W. Taylor. See all contributions.

Upcoming Seminars & Workshops
24.06.2019 10:00, Na Slovance 2, main lecture hall
Many-body entanglement scaling: Crossover from the ground state to volume laws
Thomas Barthel
Department of Physics, Duke University
(show abstract)
workshop workshop
16.-20.6.2019, Prague, Czech Republic

workshop workshop
2.-6.9.2019, Prague, Czech Republic

Latest Highlights
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Spatio-temporal distribution of relative Ti-O6 displacements in cubic BaTiO3

BaTiO3 is often considered a model ferroelectric material in which the dielectric properties are defined by the displacements of Ti ions with respect to surrounding oxygen atoms. However, despite the decades of a dedicated research, certain controversies have remained as to the description of collective movements of the Ti ions. We approached this problem using nonoscale-oriented X-ray scattering methods and large-scale atomistic simulations [1]. Together these allowed us to show that the Ti dynamics can be exhaustively explained by phonons excited on a timescale of picoseconds.

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Electric-field-induced transition from incommensurately to commensurately modulated phase

Antiferroelectric-like polarization hysteresis loops in Ba4Sm2Ti4Nb6O30 and Ba4Eu2Ti4Nb6O30 were explained by electric-field induced structural phase transition from nonpolar incommensurately modulated structure to polar and commensurately modulated phase [1]. This discovery opens new perspective direction of investigation of lead-free materials for possible electric energy storage.

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Quantum theory of terahertz conductivity of semiconductor nanostructures

In collaboration with T. Ostatnický of Charles University we participated to the development of the first theory of the quantum conductivity describing the transport in the terahertz spectral range, which does not contain internal contradictions. We have shown that the broken translation symmetry of the nanostructures induces a broadband drift-diffusion current which must be explicitly taken into account.

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Přibramite, a new Se-containing mineral from the Czech Republic, characterized by Raman spectroscopy

Minerals containing selenium are interesting and worthy to study due to its inherent photovoltaic effect. The characterization and understanding of these natural minerals is important to be able to make synthetic analogues.

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Unusual behaviour under the applied electric field for new cholesteric liquid crystals with extremely short pitch

Unusual behaviour of new cholesteric liquid crystals has been observed under applied electric field. Positive dielectric anisotropy causes reorientation of the long molecular axis along the applied electric field direction. Due to extremely short pitch length a stripe texture has been observed under applied electric field. A model based on disclinations has been proposed and anchoring energy evaluated.

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The ferroelectric phase transition of the tetragonal tungsten-bronze SBN-35 unveiled

The structural ferroelectric-paraelectric transition has been definitely observed by electron diffraction tomography in the tetragonal tungsten-bronze (TTB) Sr0.35Ba0.61Nb2O6.04 (SBN-35) from the paraelectric group P4/mbm to the ferroelectric Pmbm. At 625 K, the refined structure shows that the average structure of SBN-35 is tetragonal with an almost negligible orthorhombic distortion [Fig.1].

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Departure from BCS response in photo-excited superconducting NbN films observed by terahertz spectroscopy

Ultrashort laser pulses can be used to induce transient exotic states of matter and cause phenomena of a vital interest such as room temperature superconductivity. We have focused on the photo-induced dynamics in niobium nitride (NbN) thin films [1] under strong excitation.

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Latest Key Articles

J. Hlinka,

Doubling up piezoelectric performance

Science 364, 228 (2019).
M. Paściak, P. Ondrejkovic, J. Kulda, P. Vaněk, J. Drahokoupil, G. Steciuk, L. Palatinus, T. R. Welberry, H. E. Fischer, J. Hlinka, and E. Buixaderas,

Local structure of relaxor ferroelectric SrxBa1−xNb2O6 from a pair distribution function analysis

Phys. Rev. B 99, 104102 (2019).
J. Kuchařík, H. Němec, and T. Ostatnický,

Terahertz conductivity and coupling between geometrical and plasmonic resonances in nanostructures

Phys. Rev. B 99, 035407 (2019).
K. C. Pitike, N. Khakpash, J. Mangeri, G. A. Rossetti Jr. and S. M. Nakhmanson,

Landau–Devonshire thermodynamic potentials for displacive perovskite ferroelectrics from first principles

J. Mater. Sci. 1573, 4803 (2019).
J. Peräntie, M. Savinov, T. Kocourek, M. Jelínek, H. Jantunen, A. Dejneka, and M. Tyunina,

Hybrid polar state in epitaxial (111) PbSc0.5Nb0.5O3 relaxor ferroelectric films

Phys. Rev. Materials 3, 014403 (2019).
Last update: 14 June 2019 (admin)