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Nano Rev. 2011;2. doi: 10.3402/nano.v2i0.7364. Epub 2011 Oct 4.

Ordered arrays of multiferroic epitaxial nanostructures.

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  • 1Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle, Germany.


Epitaxial heterostructures combining ferroelectric (FE) and ferromagnetic (FiM) oxides are a possible route to explore coupling mechanisms between the two independent order parameters, polarization and magnetization of the component phases. We report on the fabrication and properties of arrays of hybrid epitaxial nanostructures of FiM NiFe(2)O(4) (NFO) and FE PbZr(0.52)Ti(0.48)O(3) or PbZr(0.2)Ti(0.8)O(3), with large range order and lateral dimensions from 200 nm to 1 micron.


The structures were fabricated by pulsed-laser deposition. High resolution transmission electron microscopy and high angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy were employed to investigate the microstructure and the epitaxial growth of the structures. Room temperature ferroelectric and ferrimagnetic domains of the heterostructures were imaged by piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and magnetic force microscopy (MFM), respectively.


PFM and MFM investigations proved that the hybrid epitaxial nanostructures show ferroelectric and magnetic order at room temperature. Dielectric effects occurring after repeated switching of the polarization in large planar capacitors, comprising ferrimagnetic NiFe2O4 dots embedded in ferroelectric PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 matrix, were studied.


These hybrid multiferroic structures with clean and well defined epitaxial interfaces hold promise for reliable investigations of magnetoelectric coupling between the ferrimagnetic / magnetostrictive and ferroelectric / piezoelectric phases.


epitaxial nanostructures; magnetic force microscopy; multiferroic composites; piezoresponse force microscopy; pulsed-laser deposition

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