G. Pilania, A. Ghosh, S. T. Hartman, R. Mishra, C. R. Stanek, B. P. Uberuaga. npj Comput Mater 6, 71 (2020).
Heteroanionic oxysulfide perovskite compounds represent an emerging class of new materials allowing for a wide range of tunability in the electronic structure that could lead to a diverse spectrum of novel and improved functionalities. Unlike cation ordered double perovskites—where the origins and design rules of various experimentally observed cation orderings are well known and understood—anion ordering in heteroanionic perovskites remains a largely uncharted territory. In this contribution, we present and discuss insights that have emerged from our first-principles-based electronic structure analysis of a prototypical anion-ordered SrHf(O0.5S0.5)3 oxysulfide chemistry, studied in all possible anion configurations allowed within a finite size supercell. We demonstrate that the preferred anion ordering is always an all-cis arrangement of anions around an HfO3S3 octahedron. As a general finding beyond the specific chemistry, the origins of this ordering tendency are traced back to a combined stabilization effect stemming from electronic, elastic, and electrostatic contributions. These qualitative notions are also quantified using state-of-the-art machine learning models. We further study the relative stability of the identified ordering as a function of A (Ca, Sr, Ba) and B (Ti, Zr, Hf) site chemistries and probe chemistry-dependent trends in the electronic structure and functionality of the material. Most remarkably, we find that the identified ground-state anion ordering breaks the inversion symmetry to create a family of oxysulfide ferroelectrics with a macroscopic polarization >30 μC/cm2, exhibiting a significant promise for electronic materials applications.