Temperature-dependent electrical, elastic and magnetic properties of solgel synthesized Bi 0.9Ln 0.1FeO 3 (Ln=Nd,Sm)
This report details correlated electrical, mechanical and magnetic behaviour in BiFeO3 ceramics doped with 10% Ln (Ln D Sm, Nd) ions on the Bi, or perovskite A, site and synthesized by a sol-gel method. The ceramics exhibit bulk piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties and clear ferroelectric domain patterns through piezoresponse force microscopy. Resonant ultrasound spectroscopy, dielectric spectroscopy and magnetometry studies show correlated magnetoelectromechanical behaviour and the existence of weak ferromagnetism for both compositions. An anomaly with simultaneous mechanical and magnetic signatures is discovered in both materials near room temperature, while previously reported transitions and anomalies are found to exhibit electro- and/or magnetomechanical coupling. Magnetism is significantly enhanced in the Sm doped sample, which is a promising multiferroic material.