Complex strain evolution of polar and magnetic order in multiferroic BiFeO 3 thin films

Zuhuang Chen*, Zhanghui Chen, Chang Yang Kuo, Yunlong Tang, Liv R. Dedon, Qian Li, Lei Zhang, Christoph Klewe, Yen Lin Huang, Bhagwati Prasad, Alan Farhan, Mengmeng Yang, James D. Clarkson, Sujit Das, Sasikanth Manipatruni, A. Tanaka, Padraic Shafer, Elke Arenholz, Andreas Scholl, Ying-hao ChuZ. Q. Qiu, Zhiwei Hu, Liu Hao Tjeng, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Lin Wang Wang, Lane W. Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Electric-field control of magnetism requires deterministic control of the magnetic order and understanding of the magnetoelectric coupling in multiferroics like BiFeO 3 and EuTiO 3 . Despite this critical need, there are few studies on the strain evolution of magnetic order in BiFeO 3 films. Here, in (110)-oriented BiFeO 3 films, we reveal that while the polarization structure remains relatively unaffected, strain can continuously tune the orientation of the antiferromagnetic-spin axis across a wide angular space, resulting in an unexpected deviation of the classical perpendicular relationship between the antiferromagnetic axis and the polarization. Calculations suggest that this evolution arises from a competition between the Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction and single-ion anisotropy wherein the former dominates at small strains and the two are comparable at large strains. Finally, strong coupling between the BiFeO 3 and the ferromagnet Co 0.9 Fe 0.1 exists such that the magnetic anisotropy of the ferromagnet can be effectively controlled by engineering the orientation of the antiferromagnetic-spin axis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3764
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

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