skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: Domain-wall magnetoelectric coupling in multiferroic hexagonal YbFeO3 films

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.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Electric‐field‐controlled magnetism is of importance in realizing energy efficient, dense and fast information storage and processing. Strain‐mediated converse magneto‐electric (ME) coupling between ferromagnetic and ferroelectric heterostructure shows promise for realizing electric‐controlled magnetism at room temperature and is attracting a number of recent investigations. However, such ME‐effect studies have mainly focus on magnetic metals. In this work, high quality yttrium iron garnet (Y3Fe5O12(YIG)) films are deposited directly onto (100)‐oriented single‐crystal Pb (Mg1/3Nb2/3)0.7Ti0.3O3(PMN‐PT) substrates by means of magnetron sputtering. The electric‐field‐induced polarization switching and lattice strain in the PMN‐PT substrate results in two distinct magnetization states in the YIG film that are nonvolatile and electrically reversible. Because of the direct contact between the YIG and the PMN‐PT substrate, an efficient ME coupling and an almost 90° rotation of the easy axis of the YIG film can be realized. Furthermore, the electric‐field‐controlled hysteresis loop‐like ferromagnetic resonance field shifts and spin pumping signals are observed in Pt/YIG/PMN‐PT heterostructures. Thus, the obstacle is overcome via growing high‐quality YIG thin films directly onto PMN‐PT substrates and an efficient manipulation of magnetism and pure spin current transport by electric field is thereby realized. These findings are instructive for future low‐power magnetic insulator‐based spintronic devices.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    A domain wall‐enabled memristor is created, in thin film lithium niobate capacitors, which shows up to twelve orders of magnitude variation in resistance. Such dramatic changes are caused by the injection of strongly inclined conducting ferroelectric domain walls, which provide conduits for current flow between electrodes. Varying the magnitude of the applied electric‐field pulse, used to induce switching, alters the extent to which polarization reversal occurs; this systematically changes the density of the injected conducting domain walls in the ferroelectric layer and hence the resistivity of the capacitor structure as a whole. Hundreds of distinct conductance states can be produced, with current maxima achieved around the coercive voltage, where domain wall density is greatest, and minima associated with the almost fully switched ferroelectric (few domain walls). Significantly, this “domain wall memristor” demonstrates a plasticity effect: when a succession of voltage pulses of constant magnitude is applied, the resistance changes. Resistance plasticity opens the way for the domain wall memristor to be considered for artificial synapse applications in neuromorphic circuits.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Ferroelectrics are being increasingly called upon for electronic devices in extreme environments. Device performance and energy efficiency is highly correlated to clock frequency, operational voltage, and resistive loss. To increase performance it is common to engineer ferroelectric domain structure with highly‐correlated electrical and elastic coupling that elicit fast and efficient collective switching. Designing domain structures with advantageous properties is difficult because the mechanisms involved in collective switching are poorly understood and difficult to investigate. Collective switching is a hierarchical process where the nano‐ and mesoscale responses control the macroscopic properties. Using chemical solution synthesis, epitaxially nearly‐relaxed (100) BaTiO3films are synthesized. Thermal strain induces a strongly‐correlated domain structure with alternating domains of polarization along the [010] and [001] in‐plane axes and 90° domain walls along the [011] or [01] directions. Simultaneous capacitance–voltage measurements and band‐excitation piezoresponse force microscopy revealed strong collective switching behavior. Using a deep convolutional autoencoder, hierarchical switching is automatically tracked and the switching pathway is identified. The collective switching velocities are calculated to be ≈500 cm s−1at 5 V (7 kV cm−1), orders‐of‐magnitude faster than expected. These combinations of properties are promising for high‐speed tunable dielectrics and low‐voltage ferroelectric memories and logic.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    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 3dferromagnetic metals, such as Co and Fe, where the metal-oxide antibonding states have an opposite spin polarization compared to that in the pristine ferromagnetic metals. Our results provide an important insight into the mechanism of the interfacial magnetoelectric coupling, which is essential for the physics and application of multiferroic heterostructures.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    For the last few years, the research interest in magnetoelectric (ME) effect, which is the cross-coupling between ferroelectric and magnetic ordering in multiferroic materials, has experienced a significant revival. The extensive recent studies are not only conducted towards the design of sensors, actuators, transducers, and memory devices by taking advantage of the cross-control of polarization (or magnetization) by magnetic (or electric) fields, but also aim to create a clearer picture in understanding the sources of ME responses and the novel effects associated with them. Here we derive analytical models allowing to understand the striking and novel dynamics of ME effects in multiferroics and further confirm it with atomistic simulations. Specifically, the role of strain is revealed to lead to the existence of electroacoustic magnons, a new quasiparticle that mixes acoustic and optical phonons with magnons, which results in resonances and thus a dramatic enhancement of magnetoelectric responses. Moreover, a unique aspect of the dynamical quadratic ME response under a magnetic field with varying frequencies, which is the second harmonic generation (SHG), has not been discussed prior to the present work. These SHGs put emphasis on the fact that nonlinearities should be considered while dealing with such systems.

    more » « less