Correlation between dielectric constant and defect structure of non-stoichiometric solids


TO understand the properties and behaviour of inorganic non-stoichiometric compounds it is vital to know how the stoichiometric imbalance in the material is accommodated structurally. It has been usual to assume that point defect populations have been solely responsible for such departures from the normal stoichiometric formula. But, recent structural investigations have shown that for a growing number of materials this does not seem to be true and instead changes in the anion–cation ratio are accommodated by planar faults. This report points out that an empirical correlation seems to exist between the magnitude of the low frequency dielectric constant of a compound and the structural mode by which it accommodates its non-stoichiometry. Those materials with a low dielectric constant are found to prefer point defect populations, while those with a high dielectric constant prefer planar faults. Some reasons why this correlation should hold are suggested.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Anderson, J. S. in Defects and Transport in Oxides (eds Seltzer, M. S. & Jaffee R. I.) 24–54 (Plenum, New York, 1974).

  2. 2

    Anderson, J. S. & Tilley, R. J. D. in Surface and Defect Properties of Solids 3, (eds Roberts, M. W. & Thomas, J. M.) 1–56 (Chemical Society, London, 1974).

  3. 3

    Hyde, B. G., Bagshaw, A. N., Anderson, S. & O'Keeffe, M. in A. Rev. mater. Sci. 4, 43–92 (1974).

  4. 4

    Nanot, M., Queyreux, F., Gilles, J. C., Portier, R. & Fayard, M. Mater. Res. Bull. 10, 313–316 (1975).

  5. 5

    Nguyen, N., Studer, F., Groult, D., Choisnet, J. & Raveau, B. J. Solid St. Chem. 19, 369–382 (1976).

  6. 6

    McConnell, J. D. M., Hutchison, J. L. & Anderson, J. S. Proc. R. Soc. A 339, 1–12 (1974).

  7. 7

    Tilley, R. J. D. J. Solid St. Chem. 7, 213–221 (1973).

  8. 8

    Iguchi, E. & Tilley, R. J. D. J. Solid St. Chem. (in the press).

  9. 9

    Bursill, L. A., Hyde, B. G. & O'Keeffe, M. in Solid State Chemistry. N. B. S. spec. Pub. 364, (eds Roth, R. S. & Schneider, S. J.) 197–204 (National Bureau Standards. Washington, 1972).

  10. 10

    Young, K. F. & Frederiske, H. P. R. J. phys. Chem. Ref. Data 2, 313–409 (1973).

  11. 11

    Chernko, I. M. & Ivon, A. I. Fiz. Tverd. Tela. 16, 2130–2133 (1974); English translation. Sov. Phys. Solid St. 16, 1391 (1975).

  12. 12

    Lefkowitz, I., Dowell, M. B. & Shields, M. A. J. Solid St. Chem. 15, 24–39 (1975).

  13. 13

    Samara, G. A. & Peercy, P. S. Phys. Rev. B 7, 1131–1148 (1973).

  14. 14

    Emmenegger, F. P. & Robinson, M. L. A. J. phys. Chem. Solids 29, 1673–1681 (1968).

  15. 15

    Hyde, B. G. & Tilley, R. J. D. J. phys. Chem. Solids 31, 1613–1619 (1970).

  16. 16

    Tilley, R. J. D. J. Solid St. Chem. (in the press).

  17. 17

    Bursill, L. A. Proc. R. Soc. A311, 267–290 (1969).

  18. 18

    Peterson, G. E. in Treatise on Solid State Chemistry 2 (ed. Hannary, N. B.) 183–236 (Plenum, New York, London, 1975).

  19. 19

    Barker, A. S. in Ferroelectrics (ed. Weller, E. F.) 213–250 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1967).

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

TILLEY, R. Correlation between dielectric constant and defect structure of non-stoichiometric solids. Nature 269, 229–231 (1977).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.