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Electrical Switching of Magnetic Polarity in a Multiferroic BiFeO 3 Device at Room Temperature

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.8.014033 DOI Help

Authors: N. Waterfield Price (Diamond Light Source; University of Oxford) , R. D. Johnson (University of Oxford; ISIS Facility) , W. Saenrang (University of Wisconsin-Madison) , A. Bombardi (Diamond Light Source) , F. P. Chmiel (University of Oxford) , C. B. Eom (University of Wisconsin-Madison) , P. G. Radaelli (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review Applied , VOL 8

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2017
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 12837

Abstract: We have directly imaged reversible electrical switching of the cycloidal rotation direction (magnetic polarity) in a (111)pc−BiFeO3 epitaxial-film device at room temperature by nonresonant x-ray magnetic scattering. Consistent with previous reports, fully relaxed (111)pc−BiFeO3 epitaxial films consisting of a single ferroelectric domain are found to comprise a submicron-scale mosaic of magnetoelastic domains, all sharing a common direction of the magnetic polarity, which is found to switch reversibly upon reversal of the ferroelectric polarization without any measurable change of the magnetoelastic domain population. A real-space polarimetry map of our device clearly distinguishes between regions of the sample electrically addressed into the two magnetic states with a resolution of a few tens of micron. Contrary to the general belief that the magneto-electric coupling in BiFeO3 is weak, we find that electrical switching has a dramatic effect on the magnetic structure, with the magnetic moments rotating on average by 90° at every cycle.

Journal Keywords: Ferroelectricity; Magnetic order parameter; Magnetic texture; Magnetization switching; Multiferroics; Devices; Noncollinear magnets; Oxides

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials

Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism