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Nanoengineering room temperature ferroelectricity into orthorhombic SmMnO3 films.

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Kursumovic, Ahmed 
Bi, Zenxhing 


Orthorhombic RMnO3 (R = rare-earth cation) compounds are type-II multiferroics induced by inversion-symmetry-breaking of spin order. They hold promise for magneto-electric devices. However, no spontaneous room-temperature ferroic property has been observed to date in orthorhombic RMnO3. Here, using 3D straining in nanocomposite films of (SmMnO3)0.5((Bi,Sm)2O3)0.5, we demonstrate room temperature ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism with TC,FM ~ 90 K, matching exactly with theoretical predictions for the induced strain levels. Large in-plane compressive and out-of-plane tensile strains (-3.6% and +4.9%, respectively) were induced by the stiff (Bi,Sm)2O3 nanopillars embedded. The room temperature electric polarization is comparable to other spin-driven ferroelectric RMnO3 films. Also, while bulk SmMnO3 is antiferromagnetic, ferromagnetism was induced in the composite films. The Mn-O bond angles and lengths determined from density functional theory explain the origin of the ferroelectricity, i.e. modification of the exchange coupling. Our structural tuning method gives a route to designing multiferroics.



3402 Inorganic Chemistry, 34 Chemical Sciences, 40 Engineering, 51 Physical Sciences, 4016 Materials Engineering

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC


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Isaac Newton Trust (Minute 1338(k))
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (745886)
Isaac Newton Trust (18.23(G))
Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) (CiET1819\24)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/L011700/1)
Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2015-017)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N004272/1)
H2020 Isaac Newton Trust Royal Academy of Engineering