Electrical modulation of magnetic states in single-phase multiferroic materials, using domain-wall magnetoelectric (ME) coupling, can be enhanced substantially by controlling the population density of the ferroelectric (FE) domain walls during polarization switching. In this work, we investigate the domain-wall ME coupling in multiferroic h-YbFeO3thin films, in which the FE domain walls induce clamped antiferromagnetic (AFM) domain walls with reduced magnetization magnitude. Simulation according to the phenomenological theory indicates that the domain-wall ME effect is dramatically enhanced when the separation between the FE domain walls shrinks below the characteristic width of the clamped AFM domain walls during the ferroelectric switching. Experimentally, we show that while the magnetization magnitude remains same for both the positive and the negative saturation polarization states, there is evidence of magnetization reduction at the coercive voltages. These results suggest that the domain-wall ME effect is viable for electrical control of magnetization.
Multiferroic materials composed of ferromagnetic and ferroelectric components are interesting for technological applications due to sizable magnetoelectric coupling allowing the control of magnetic properties by electric fields. Due to being compatible with the silicon-based technology, HfO2-based ferroelectrics could serve as a promising component in the composite multiferroics. Recently, a strong charge-mediated magnetoelectric coupling has been predicted for a Ni/HfO2multiferroic heterostructure. Here, using density functional theory calculations, we systematically study the effects of the interfacial oxygen stoichiometry relevant to experiments on the magnetoelectric effect at the Ni/HfO2interface. We demonstrate that the magnetoelectric effect is very sensitive to the interface stoichiometry and is reversed if an oxidized Ni monolayer is formed at the interface. The reversal of the magnetoelectric effect is driven by a strong Ni−O bonding producing exchange-split polarization-sensitive antibonding states at the Fermi energy. We argue that the predicted reversal of the magnetoelectric effect is typical for other 3
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- npj Computational Materials
- Nature Publishing Group
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- National Science Foundation
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