Abstract

We investigate the evolution of the state of polarization of light propagating through bulk depoled composite ferroelectrics below the Curie temperature. In contrast to standard depoled ferroelectrics, where random birefringence causes depolarization and scattering, light is observed to suffer varying degrees of depolarization and remains fully polarized when linearly polarized along the crystal principal axes. The effect is found to be supported by the formation of polarized speckles organized into a spatial lattice and occurs as the ferroelectric settles into a spontaneous super-crystal, a three-dimensional coherent mosaic of ferroelectric clusters. The polarization lattices gradually disappear as the ferroelectric state reduces to a disordered distribution of polar nanoregions above the critical point.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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