Fig a shows the BIT particles are of

Plate-like SrTiO3[5] and [6] and Bi4Ti3O12[6] and [7] particles have been widely used as templates to prepare textured NBT based piezoelectric ceramics. However, both SrTiO3 and Bi4Ti3O12[9] and [10] are not ideal templates because their crystal structures are different with the matrix which will reduce the piezoelectric properties. The best material for seeding the phase formation of NBT based ceramics and to template the oriented grain growth is NBT itself [11] and [12]. Recently, soft chemical methods including the molten-salt method and topochemical microcrystal conversion method have been used to prepare anisotropic NBT platelets [12] and [13]. Topochemical synthesis involves replacing or modifying the interlayer cations but retaining the morphological and structural features of plate-like, layered perovskite precursors by SB 265610 exchange and intercalation reactions at low temperatures. The layer-structured BIT and NBIT can be transformed into a perovskite NBT in the topochemical reaction. Zhao et al. [14] reported the preparation of large plate-like NBT templates from bismuth layer structured ferroelectric (BLSF) compound Na0.5Bi4.5Ti4O15 (NBIT). In most papers [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16] and [17], NBT platelets were prepared by a two-step synthesis method. NBT platelets were synthesized using BIT or NBIT as precursors. The properties of NBT platelets and their precursors were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Which was the better method to synthesis NBT platelets, using BIT as precursors or using NBIT as precursors? Controlled experiment had been designed to answer this question in this paper, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) was used to characterize microstructures of NBT platelets and precursors for the first time.