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Ferroelectricity, ferromagnetism, and magnetoelectric coupling in highly textured thin films of the multiferroic Pb(Fe0.5Nb0.5)O3

  • Oscar Raymond-Herrera (a1), Paola Góngora-Lugo (a2), Carlos Ostos (a3), Mario Curiel-Alvarez (a1), Dario Bueno-Baques (a4), Roberto Machorro-Mejia (a1), Lourdes Mestres-Vila (a5), Reynaldo Font-Hernández (a6), Jorge Portelles-Rodriguez (a6) and Jesús M. Siqueiros (a6)...

Abstract

A study of the ferroelectric and magnetic properties and of the magnetoelectric coupling effects of Pb(Fe0.5Nb0.5)O3 (PFN) thin films, grown on SrRuO3/Si [(100) or (111)] substrates by the rf-magnetron sputtering technique, is presented. Structural, morphological, and compositional characterization was realized using the XRD, AFM, XPS, and TEM techniques. Highly textured single phase films with different thickness (from 45 to 270 nm) were successfully grown without Fe2+ presence. A vertically [110] oriented grainy structure was observed. Polarization vs. electric field (P-E) hysteresis loops exhibit excellent and almost constant values of the maximum (∼ 60 μC/cm2) and remanent (∼ 22 μC/cm2) polarizations in the temperature range from 4 K to room temperature; small values of the coercive field, characteristic of soft ferroelectric materials, are observed in these samples. Measurements of the zero-field cooled (ZFC) and field cooled (FC) magnetization behavior and magnetic (M-H) hysteresis loops were realized at different temperatures between 5 and 300 K. Proof of the existence of ferromagnetic order in the low temperature region (below to 50 K) is discussed and reported for the first time. Values of the maximum (∼ 3 emu/g) and remanent (∼ 1.5 emu/g) magnetizations were obtained. dc magnetic field dependence of the ferroelectric hysteresis loops are shown as evidence of the magnetoelectric coupling.

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