Publication Details

Jia, T., Kimura, H., Cheng, Z., Zhao, H., Kim, Y., Osada, M., Matsumoto, T., Shibata, N. & Ikuhara, Y. (2016). Mechanical force involved multiple fields switching of both local ferroelectric and magnetic domain in a Bi5Ti3FeO15 thin film. arXiv, 4 October 1-22.


Multiferroics have received intense attention due to their great application potential in multi-state information storage devices and new types of sensors. Coupling among ferroic orders such as ferroelectricity, (anti-)ferromagnetism, ferroelasticity, etc. will enable dynamic interaction between these ordering parameters. Direct visualization of such coupling behaviour in single phase multiferroic materials is highly desirable for both applications and fundamental study. Manipulation of both ferroelectric and magnetic domains of Bi5Ti3FeO15 thin film using electric field and external mechanical force is reported, which confirms the magnetoelectric coupling in Bi5Ti3FeO15, indicates the electric and magnetic orders are coupled through ferroelasticity. Due to the anisotropic relaxation of ferroelastic strain, the back-switching of out-of-plane electric domains is not as obvious as in-plane. An inevitable destabilization of the coupling between elastic and magnetic ordering happens because of the elastic strain relaxation, which result in a subsequent decay of magnetic domain switching. Mechanical force applied on the surface of Bi5Ti3FeO15 film generates by an AFM tip will effectively drive a transition of the local ferroelastic strain state, reverse both the polarization and magnetization in a way similar to an electric field. Current work provides a framework for exploring cross-coupling among multiple orders and potential for developing novel nanoscale functional devices.