Europium titanate thin films are ferroelectric and ferromagnetic when stretched across a dysprosium scandate substrate and have great potential in electronics.
Materials that are simultaneously both ferroelectric (electrically polarized) and ferromagnetic (exhibiting a permanent magnetic field) are rare but could be useful in developing low-power, highly sensitive magnetic memory, magnetic sensors or tunable microwave devices. The strongest ferromagnetic ferroelectric, nickel boracites, date back to 1966, and only a few weaker materials have been found since, until now.
The new material is 1000 times stronger than the nickel compound although must be chilled to 4 K in order for its ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties to manifest themselves.
- A strong ferroelectric ferromagnet created by means of spin–lattice coupling,
June Hyuk Lee, Lei Fang, Eftihia Vlahos, Xianglin Ke, Young Woo Jung, Lena Fitting Kourkoutis, Jong-Woo Kim, Philip J. Ryan, Tassilo Heeg, Martin Roeckerath, Veronica Goian, Margitta Bernhagen, Reinhard Uecker, P. Chris Hammel, Karin M. Rabe, Stanislav Kamba, Jürgen Schubert, John W. Freeland, David A. Muller, Craig J. Fennie, Peter Schiffer, Venkatraman Gopalan, Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, Darrell G. Schlom,
Nature 2010, 466 (7309), 954.