Structural strain severely impacts material properties, such as the linear and nonlinear optical response. Moreover, strain plays a key role, e.g., in the physics of ferroelectrics and, in particular, of their domain walls. μ-Raman spectroscopy is a well-suited technique for the investigation of such strain effects as it allows to measure the lattice dynamics locally. However, quantifying and reconstructing strain fields from Raman maps requires knowledge on the strain dependence of phonon frequencies. In this paper, we have analyzed both theoretically and experimentally the phonon frequencies in the widely used ferroelectrics lithium niobate and lithium tantalate as a function of uniaxial strain via density functional theory and μ-Raman spectroscopy. Overall, we find a good agreement between our ab initio models and the experimental data performed with a stress cell. The majority of phonons show an increase in frequency under compressive strain, whereas the opposite is observed for tensile strains. Moreover, for E-type phonons, we observe the lifting of degeneracy already at moderate strain fields (i.e., at ±0.2%) along the x and y directions. This paper, hence, allows for the systematic analysis of three-dimensional strains in modern-type bulk and thin-film devices assembled from lithium niobate and tantalate.
|Physical review materials
|Published - 27 Feb 2023