Effect of processing kinetics on the structure of ferromagnetic- ferroelectric-ferromagnetic interfaces

P. S. Sankara Rama Krishnan*, Q. M. Ramasse, Wen I. Liang, Ying-hao Chu, V. Nagarajan, P. Munroe

*Corresponding author for this work

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7 Scopus citations


Trilayer heterostructures consisting of a ferroelectric bismuth ferrite (BFO) film sandwiched between ferromagnetic lanthanum strontium manganese oxide (LSMO) films were fabricated using pulsed laser deposition. Both BFO thicknesses (20 nm, 5 nm) and cooling rates were varied to investigate the role of processing parameters on the chemistry of the interfaces. The interfaces were investigated using a dedicated aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) operated at 100 kV via STEM-high angle annular dark field (STEM-HAADF) and STEM-electron energy loss spectroscopy (STEM-EELS) modes. Combined analysis through STEM-HAADF and STEM-EELS revealed the formation of lattice distortion in certain regions of the BFO layer for the ∼5 nm film. Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) studies of the ∼5 nm BFO sample revealed weak ferroelectric domain switching. Stacking fault defects with mixed valence manganese (Mn-B site cation) were formed in the top LSMO layer when the heterostructure was cooled at a slower rate irrespective of BFO thickness, thereby demonstrating the effect of processing kinetics on the physical integrity of the heterostructure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104102
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2012

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