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Probing the local strain-mediated magnetoelectric coupling in multiferroic nanocomposites by magnetic field-assisted piezoresponse force microscopy

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The magnetoelectric effect that occurs in multiferroic materials is fully described by the magnetoelectric coupling coefficient induced either electrically or magnetically. This is rather well understood in bulk multiferroics, but it is not known whether the magnetoelectric coupling properties are retained at nanometre length scales in nanostructured multiferroics. The main challenges are related to measurement difficulties of the coupling at nanoscale, as well as the fabrication of suitable nano-multiferroic samples. Addressing these issues is an important prerequisite for the implementation of multiferroics in future nanoscale devices and sensors. In this paper we report on the local measurement of the magnetoelectric coefficient in bilayered ceramic nanocomposites from the variation in the longitudinal piezoelectric coefficient of the electrostrictive layer in the presence of a magnetic field. The experimental data were analyzed using a theoretical relationship linking the piezoelectric coefficient to the magneto-electric coupling coefficient. Our results confirm the presence of a measurable magnetoelectric coupling in bilayered nanocomposites constructed by a perovskite as the electrostrictive phase and two different ferrites (cubic spinel and hexagonal) as the magnetic phases. The reported experimental values as well as our theoretical approach are both in good agreement with previously published data for bulk and nanostructure magnetoelectric multiferroics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3218-3227
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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