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Phase formation and microstructure of Nd +3 doped Pb(Mg 1/3Nb 2/3)O 3 prepared by sol-gel method
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the rare earth element neodymium on the phase formation and microstructural development of relaxor ferroelectric lead magnesium niobate, Pb(Mg 1/3 Nb 2/3)O 3 (PMN) system. Perovskite phase PMN powders were prepared using the sol - gel method and the effect of neodymium doping was investigated at different doping levels ranging from 0.1 mol% to 30 mol%. The precursors employed in the sol - gel process were lead (II) acetate, magnesium ethoxide, and niobium (V) ethoxide. All the experiments were performed at room temperature while the calcination temperatures ranged between 800 °C and 1,100 °C. Results showed that it was possible to obtain the pure perovskite phase at 950 °C using the sol - gel method. Nd +3 addition influenced the phase formation and microstructure of the multicomponent system. Pyrochlore was detected along with the perovskite phase above 10 mol% Nd. Results also demonstrated that grain size of the synthesized powders depended on the Nd +3 concentration.