Using temperature-resolved dielectric spectroscopy in the range of 75-320 K we have inspected the solid-like and liquid-like arrangements of nanometric dipoles (polar nanoregions) embedded in sodium-enriched potassium-tantalate-niobate (KNTN), a chemically-substituted complex perovskite crystal hosting inherent substitutional disorder. The study of order versus direction is carried out using Fröhlich entropy measurements and indicates the presence of four long-range symmetry phases, two of which are found to display profoundly anisotropic features. Exotic phases are found for which the dipoles at one fixed temperature manifest a liquid reorientational response along one crystal axis and a solid-like behavior along another axis. The macroscopic anisotropy observed in the sequence of different phases is found to match a microscopic order-disorder sequence typical of nominally pure perovskites. Moreover, experimental demonstration of the onset of a frozen state above transitions is provided.
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© 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry.