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Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3190, 2020 Jun 24.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32581280


Epitaxial films may be released from growth substrates and transferred to structurally and chemically incompatible substrates, but epitaxial films of transition metal perovskite oxides have not been transferred to electroactive substrates for voltage control of their myriad functional properties. Here we demonstrate good strain transmission at the incoherent interface between a strain-released film of epitaxially grown ferromagnetic La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 and an electroactive substrate of ferroelectric 0.68Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-0.32PbTiO3 in a different crystallographic orientation. Our strain-mediated magnetoelectric coupling compares well with respect to epitaxial heterostructures, where the epitaxy responsible for strong coupling can degrade film magnetization via strain and dislocations. Moreover, the electrical switching of magnetic anisotropy is repeatable and non-volatile. High-resolution magnetic vector maps reveal that micromagnetic behaviour is governed by electrically controlled strain and cracks in the film. Our demonstration should inspire others to control the physical/chemical properties in strain-released epitaxial oxide films by using electroactive substrates to impart strain via non-epitaxial interfaces.

Nanoscale ; 12(9): 5652-5657, 2020 Mar 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32101212


Using photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) to image ferromagnetism in polycrystalline Ni disks, and ferroelectricity in their single-crystal BaTiO3 substrates, we find that voltage-driven 90° ferroelectric domain switching serves to reversibly annihilate each magnetic vortex via uniaxial compressive strain, and that the orientation of the resulting bi-domain reveals the chirality of the annihilated vortex. Micromagnetic simulations reveal that only 60% of this strain is required for annihilation. Voltage control of magnetic vortices is novel, and should be energetically favourable with respect to the use of a magnetic field or an electrical current. In future, stray field from bi-domains could be exploited to read vortex chirality. Given that core polarity can already be read via stray field, our work represents a step towards four-state low-power memory applications.

J Phys Condens Matter ; 30(21): 215701, 2018 May 31.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29633959


Lead zirconate titanate samples are used for their piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties in various types of micro-devices. Epitaxial layers of tetragonal perovskites have a tendency to relax by forming [Formula: see text] ferroelastic domains. The accommodation of the a/c/a/c polydomain structure on a flat substrate leads to nanoscale deformation gradients which locally influence the polarization by flexoelectric effect. Here, we investigated the deformation fields in epitaxial layers of Pb(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3 grown on SrTiO3 substrates using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We found that the deformation gradients depend on the domain walls inclination ([Formula: see text] or [Formula: see text] to the substrate interface) of the successive [Formula: see text] domains and we describe three different a/c/a domain configurations: one configuration with parallel a-domains and two configurations with perpendicular a-domains (V-shaped and hat-[Formula: see text]-shaped). In the parallel configuration, the c-domains contain horizontal and vertical gradients of out-of-plane deformation. In the V-shaped and hat-[Formula: see text]-shaped configurations, the c-domains exhibit a bending deformation field with vertical gradients of in-plane deformation. Each of these configurations is expected to have a different influence on the polarization and so the local properties of the film. The deformation gradients were measured using dark-field electron holography, a TEM technique, which offers a good sensitivity (0.1%) and a large field-of-view (hundreds of nanometers). The measurements are compared with finite element simulations.

J Phys Condens Matter ; 29(33): 334003, 2017 Aug 23.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28627502


We measure the magnetotransport properties of individual 71° domain walls in multiferroic BiFeO3 by means of conductive-atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) in the presence of magnetic fields up to one Tesla. The results suggest anisotropic magnetoresistance at room temperature, with the sign of the magnetoresistance depending on the relative orientation between the magnetic field and the domain wall plane. A consequence of this finding is that macroscopically averaged magnetoresistance measurements for domain wall bunches are likely to underestimate the magnetoresistance of each individual domain wall.

Nature ; 515(7527): 379-83, 2014 Nov 20.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25409828


Progress in nanotechnology requires new approaches to materials synthesis that make it possible to control material functionality down to the smallest scales. An objective of materials research is to achieve enhanced control over the physical properties of materials such as ferromagnets, ferroelectrics and superconductors. In this context, complex oxides and inorganic perovskites are attractive because slight adjustments of their atomic structures can produce large physical responses and result in multiple functionalities. In addition, these materials often contain ferroelastic domains. The intrinsic symmetry breaking that takes place at the domain walls can induce properties absent from the domains themselves, such as magnetic or ferroelectric order and other functionalities, as well as coupling between them. Moreover, large domain wall densities create intense strain gradients, which can also affect the material's properties. Here we show that, owing to large local stresses, domain walls can promote the formation of unusual phases. In this sense, the domain walls can function as nanoscale chemical reactors. We synthesize a two-dimensional ferromagnetic phase at the domain walls of the orthorhombic perovskite terbium manganite (TbMnO3), which was grown in thin layers under epitaxial strain on strontium titanate (SrTiO3) substrates. This phase is yet to be created by standard chemical routes. The density of the two-dimensional sheets can be tuned by changing the film thickness or the substrate lattice parameter (that is, the epitaxial strain), and the distance between sheets can be made as small as 5 nanometres in ultrathin films, such that the new phase at domain walls represents up to 25 per cent of the film volume. The general concept of using domain walls of epitaxial oxides to promote the formation of unusual phases may be applicable to other materials systems, thus giving access to new classes of nanoscale materials for applications in nanoelectronics and spintronics.

Phys Rev Lett ; 107(12): 127601, 2011 Sep 16.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22026801


Local conduction at domains and domain walls is investigated in BiFeO(3) thin films containing mostly 71° domain walls. Measurements at room temperature reveal conduction through 71° domain walls. Conduction through domains could also be observed at high enough temperatures. It is found that, despite the lower conductivity of the domains, both are governed by the same mechanisms: in the low voltage regime, electrons trapped at defect states are temperature activated but the current is limited by the ferroelectric surface charges; in the large voltage regime, Schottky emission takes place and the role of oxygen vacancies is that of selectively increasing the Fermi energy at the walls and locally reducing the Schottky barrier. This understanding provides the key to engineering conduction paths in BiFeO(3).