Scientists find new set of multiferroic materials

October 20, 2009
Scientists find new set of multiferroic materials

( -- The trail to a new multiferroic started with the theories of a U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory scientist and ended with a multidisciplinary collaboration that created a material with potential impact on next generation electronics.

Argonne scientist Craig Fennie's principles of microscopic materials design predicted that the high pressure form of FeTiO3 would have both weak ferromagnetism and ferroelectric polarization, an unusual combination in a single material.

"We were able to take the theory and, through targeted synthesis and measurement, prove that FeTiO3 has both weak ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity, just as Craig predicted," Argonne scientist John Mitchell said. "Success in this materials design and discovery project would not have been possible without a collaborative team involving several disciplines and talents from across the lab and indeed the country.”

Scientists from Argonne's Materials Science division and Center for along with scientists from Pennsylvania State University, University of Chicago and Cornell University used piezoresponse force microscopy, optical second harmonic generation and magnetometry to show ferroelectricity at and below room temperature and weak ferromagnetism below 120 Kelvin for polycrystalline FeTiO3 synthesized at high pressure.

Multiferroic materials show both magnetism and polar order, which are seemingly contradictory properties. Magnetic ferroelectrics may have applications in memory, sensors, actuators and other multifunctional devices by acting as magnetic switches when their electric fields are reversed.

This project was recently published in Physical Review Letters and will be featured in the upcoming Advanced Photon Source annual report.

Provided by Argonne National Laboratory (news : web)

Explore further: Studies on electric polarization open potential for tinier devices

Related Stories

Reverse Chemical Switching of a Ferroelectric Film

February 25, 2009

( -- Ferroelectric materials display a spontaneous electric polarization below the Curie temperature that can be reoriented, typically by applying an electric field. In this study, researchers from Argonne, Northern ...

Recommended for you

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

November 25, 2015

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2009
University of Puerto Rico helped make the break through and are working on proof of concept for holographic/spintronics optical storage device.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.