Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Structural characterisation of Na2Nb4O11 powder has been carried out by Rietveld refinement of neutron powder diffraction data in the temperature range 10&-573 K and measurements of second harmonic generation in the range 75 to 450 K. The space group changes from Rc to C2/c on cooling through a phase transition at 380 K. The origin of the phase transition in Na2Nb4O11 is mainly related to distortion of some Nb(1)O7 pentagonal bipyramids within the equatorial plane whereas other Nb(2)O7 pentagonal bipyramids become almost regular. Although Na2Nb4O11 ceramics show a maximum permittivity of 150 at 380 K and frequency-independent permittivity below this temperature, the room temperature polymorph is not ferroelectric. Comparison of the high and room temperature structures shows clear evidence of antiparallel atomic displacements in the room temperature structure and, therefore, a tendency towards low temperature antiferroelectric behaviour. A comparison is also made with the structurally-related ferroelectric Ag2Nb4O11.