Epitaxial Magnetoelectric Interfaces
With advanced thin film deposition techniques, it is possible to combine different complex oxides in epitaxial heterostructure form with atomic layer precision to create new materials with tailored functionality that are inaccessible in bulk materials. For example, the artificially constructed multiferroic heterostructures composed of ferroelectric and magnetic constituent materials allow one to examine and manipulate the coupling between the electric and magnetic orders with controllable lattice, charge and spin degrees of freedom, offering the possibility of designing individual composite structures with tailored properties.
Nebraska MRSEC researchers have constructed an off-axis radio frequency magnetron sputtering system for growing atomically registered magnetoelectric interfaces. Using the sputter system, they have fabricated epitaxial heterostructures composed of thin films of ferroelectric Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 and colossal magnetoresistive oxide (La,Sr)MnO3, with high crystallinity and atomically sharp interfaces achieved.
These programs are supported by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, Materials Research Science and Engineering Program, Grant 0820521.
Off-axis magnetron sputtering system during thin film deposition (left) and AFM measurement of a Pb(Zr,Ti)O3/(La,Sr)MnO3 heterostructure epitaxially grown on SrTiO3 substrate (right).
Highlight InfoDate: March 2013