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Tilt engineering of spontaneous polarization and magnetization above 300 K in a bulk layered perovskite

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Science  23 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6220, pp. 420-424
DOI: 10.1126/science.1262118

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Tilting toward two properties

Opposing electronic and symmetry constraints can make it difficult to combine some pairs of material properties in a single crystalline material. Magnetization and electrical polarization are such a pair, but their combination could be useful for applications such as magnetoelectric information storage. Pitcher et al. now show that careful design of chemical substitutions in a layered perovskite are both electrically polar and weakly ferromagnetic at temperatures up to 330 K.

Science, this issue p. 420

Abstract

Crystalline materials that combine electrical polarization and magnetization could be advantageous in applications such as information storage, but these properties are usually considered to have incompatible chemical bonding and electronic requirements. Recent theoretical work on perovskite materials suggested a route for combining both properties. We used crystal chemistry to engineer specific atomic displacements in a layered perovskite, (CaySr1–y)1.15Tb1.85Fe2O7, that change its symmetry and simultaneously generate electrical polarization and magnetization above room temperature. The two resulting properties are magnetoelectrically coupled as they arise from the same displacements.

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