Electrical control of antiferromagnetic domains in multiferroic BiFeO 3 films at room temperature

T. Zhao*, A. Scholl, F. Zavaliche, K. Lee, M. Barry, A. Doran, M. P. Cruz, Ying-hao Chu, C. Ederer, N. A. Spaldin, R. R. Das, D. M. Kim, S. H. Baek, C. B. Eom, R. Ramesh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1025 Scopus citations


The antiferromagnetic domain structure of BiFeO 3 films was imaged and changes induced in the antiferromagnetic domains on switching the ferroelectric polarization was recorded. Ferroelectric measurements confirm a large polarization value along the surface normal and magnetic measurements show a weak, saturated magnetic moment. The ferroelectric domain structure is both imaged and switched using piezoelectric force microscopy (PEM). The antiferromagnetic domain structure is studied before and after electrical poling using photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) based on X-ray linear dichroism (XLD). Bulk BiFeO 3 is a room temperature ferroelectric with a spontaneous electric polarization directed along one of the axes of the perovskite structure. Coupling between ferroelectricity and antiferromagnetism in BiFeO 3 thin film is a result from the coupling of both antiferromagnetic and ferroelectric domains to the underlying ferroelastic domain structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-829
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2006

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