Epitaxial multiferroic BiFeO3 thin films: Progress and future directions
We write this article in honor of Professor Vitaly L. Ginzburg, truly the father of the field of ferroelectricity. This article serves as a review of the current state of research pertaining to multiferroic BiFeO3 thin films. In this review we will delve into details of the growth of BiFeO 3 thin films and the use of piezoforce microscopy and x-ray reciprocal space mapping to characterize the crystal structure and domain structure of BiFeO3. We will also discuss the use of vicinal and asymmetric substrates to simplify the domain structure in BiFeO3. By simplifying the domain structure we can, in turn, control the ferroelectric switching mechanisms in BiFeO3. Finally we describe the basic ferroelectric properties of BFO films and discuss the critical issues needed to be solved in BiFeO3 films including leakage, complex domain structure, coercivity, and reliability. Such results are promising for continued exploration for detailed multiferroic-coupling studies in the magnetoelectric BiFeO3 system and BiFeO3, in turn, provides a model platform with which to realize the exciting possibility of electrically control magnetism.