Title
Mechanical switching of nanoscale multiferroic phase boundariesMechanical switching of nanoscale multiferroic phase boundaries
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Research group
Electron microscopy for materials research (EMAT)
Publication type
article
Publication
Weinheim,
Subject
Physics
Chemistry
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Advanced functional materials. - Weinheim
Volume/pages
25(2015):22, p. 3405-3413
ISSN
1616-301X
ISI
000355992600017
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Tuning the lattice degree of freedom in nanoscale functional crystals is critical to exploit the emerging functionalities such as piezoelectricity, shape-memory effect, or piezomagnetism, which are attributed to the intrinsic lattice-polar or lattice-spin coupling. Here it is reported that a mechanical probe can be a dynamic tool to switch the ferroic orders at the nanoscale multiferroic phase boundaries in BiFeO3 with a phase mixture, where the material can be reversibly transformed between the soft tetragonal-like and the hard rhombohedral-like structures. The microscopic origin of the nonvolatile mechanical switching of the multiferroic phase boundaries, coupled with a reversible 180 degrees rotation of the in-plane ferroelectric polarization, is the nanoscale pressure-induced elastic deformation and reconstruction of the spontaneous strain gradient across the multiferroic phase boundaries. The reversible control of the room-temperature multiple ferroic orders using a pure mechanical stimulus may bring us a new pathway to achieve the potential energy conversion and sensing applications.
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