Highlight: Atomically engineered ferroic layers yield a room temperature magnetoelectric multiferroic
Materials that exhibit simultaneous order in their electric and magnetic ground states hold promise for use in next-generation memory devices in which electric fields control magnetism.
Such materials are rare, owing to competing requirements for ferroelectricity and magnetism.
We've developed a methodology for constructing multiferroic materials in which ferroelectricity and strong magnetic ordering are coupled near room temperature.
Highlight: Deterministic switching of ferromagnetism at room temperature using an electric field, Nature, 516, 370(2014)
Multiferroics present the ability to control magnetism with electric field at AttoJoule energy scales. The single-phase multiferroic material, BiFeO3, exhibits magnetoelectric coupling at room temperature with weak ferromagnetism arising from the Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction.
Here we show a deterministic reversal of the D-M vector and canted moment using an electric field at room temperature. First-principles calculations reveal that the switching process favors a two-step switching process in which the DM vector and polarization are coupled and 180° deterministic switching of magnetization hence becomes possible, in agreement with experimental observation. Our results suggest ways to engineer magnetoelectric switching for nanometer-scale, low-energy-consumption, non-volatile magnetoelectronics.