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Controlling Magnetism with an Electric Field in Multiferroic Complex Oxide Heterostructures: La0.7Sr0.3MnO3/BiFeO3

  • Ying-Hao Chu (a1), Kilho Lee (a1), Lane W. Martin (a1), Mikel Barry (a1), Mark Huijben (a1), Martin Gajek (a1), Jan Seidel (a1), Qian Zhan (a1), Padraic Shafer (a1), Yu Pu (a1), Pei-Ling Yang (a1) and Ramamoorthy Ramesh (a1)...



This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.


Interactions at magnetic interfaces are central to the operation of virtually all magnetic heterostructures. When the interface is between two magnetic materials, the exchange interaction between spins at the interface is often a dominant force, and can dramatically change the magnetic response of the overall heterostructure. In ferromagnet (FM)/antiferromagnet (AFM) heterostructures, this interaction is often referred to as exchange anisotropy or bias and it has been widely used over the past decade in a wide array of applications such as magnetic recording heads, MRAMs, etc. The powerful implications of interactions between an AFM and a FM have been realized in a wide range of thin film heterostructure with both metallic and oxide constituents. There is, however, much less work on oxide-oxide FM/AFM systems. On the other hand, the development and understanding of functional oxide materials, especially multifunctional materials like BiFeO3 (BFO), have piqued the interest of researchers worldwide with the promise of coupling between order parameters such as ferroelectricity and antiferromagnetism. Recent research suggests that there is exchange coupling and anisotropy between the metallic ferromagnet Co0.9Fe0.1 (CoFe) and the multiferroic, antiferromagnet BFO, showing the possibility to create highly desirable multifunctional systems with new possibilities for device design. Such a result provides the driving force to create multifunctional oxide-oxide systems where exchange interactions could be much stronger then in metal/oxide structures due the added epitaxial nature of the interface. In this study, we use La0.7Sr0.3MnO3(LSMO)/BFO thin film heterostructures as a model system to explore the exchange interaction at an oxide interface. The heterostructures are grown on various vicinal cuts of SrTiO3 single crystal substrates using laser MBE. Structural analysis using x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry reveals high quality films with the pristine interfaces required for exchange coupling. First results from photoemission electron microscope (PEEM) studies reveal that the magnetic LSMO domain structure mimics underneath ferroelectric BFO domain structure, i..e, it is strongly pinned by the underlying AFM structure. The coupling behavior is being characterized by magnetic measurements (SQUID, VSM), which shows a strong enhancement in the coercivity of the LSMO layer, suggesting the existence of exchange bias coupling. We are probing the strength of this coupling using a combination of careful laser MBE growth experiments and physical property measurements. In this paper, we will report results of experiments in which the LSMO layer has been grown by laser MBE in the thickness range of 2-50nm on a [001] BFO layer.




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