Phase transitions of sodium niobate, prepared by the solid state synthesis method, were examined using dielectric measurements, differential scanning calorimetry, and high temperature x-ray diffraction, in order to contribute to the clarification of its structural behavior below 400°C. Four phase transitions were detected in the ceramic sample using dielectric measurements and differential scanning calorimetry and the obtained temperatures were in a good agreement with previous reports for the transitions of the P polymorph. The anomaly observed by dielectric measurements in the vicinity of 150°C was frequency dependent and could be related to the dynamics of the ferroelectric nanoregions. The phase transitions of the as-synthesized NaNbO3 powder were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry and high temperature x-ray diffraction. The results show the existence of the Q polymorph at room temperature, not previously reported for the powder, which undergoes a transition to the R polymorph upon heating through a temperature region between 265 and 326.5°C. This transition is mainly related to the displacement of Na into a more symmetric position and a minor change in the tilting system. The structures at room temperature, 250, 300, and 420°C were refined by the Rietveld method and the evolution of the tilting system of the octahedral network and cationic displacement are reported.

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