PerspectiveMaterials Science

The Renaissance of Magnetoelectric Multiferroics

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Science  15 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5733, pp. 391-392
DOI: 10.1126/science.1113357

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Magnetoelectric multiferroics combine ferromagnetism (a spontaneous magnetization that can be switched by a magnetic field) and ferroelectricity (a spontaneous electric polarization that can be switched by an electric field) in the same phase. They have tremendous potential for applications, not only because they possess the properties of both parent phenomena, but also because coupling between ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity can lead to additional novel effects. In their Perspective, Spaldin and Fiebig discuss the factors behind the recent resurgence of interest in magnetoelectric multiferroics, describe some exciting results emerging from the current research activities, and point to important challenges and directions for future work.