Answer to Question #120620 in Inorganic Chemistry for Yuki

Question #120620
Explain and compare the shapes of the polarisation vs. electric field curves of a dielectric and a ferroelectric material.
1
Expert's answer
2020-06-08T15:22:12-0400


The above graph is for dielectric materials.

When most materials are polarized, the polarization induced, P, is almost exactly proportional to the applied external electric field E; so the polarization is a linear function. This is called dielectric polarization.



This is for ferroelectric elements.

Ferroelectric materials demonstrate a spontaneous nonzero polarization (after entrainment, see figure) even when the applied field E is zero. The distinguishing feature of ferroelectrics is that the spontaneous polarization can be reversed by a suitably strong applied electric field in the opposite direction; the polarization is therefore dependent not only on the current electric field but also on its history, yielding a hysteresis loop. 


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