Interface-Driven Multiferroicity in Cubic BaTiO3-SrTiO3Nanocomposites
Perovskite multiferroics have drawn significant attention in the development of next-generation multifunctional electronic devices. However, the majority of existing multiferroics exhibit ferroelectric and ferromagnetic orderings only at low temperatures. Although interface engineering in complex oxide thin films has triggered many exotic room-temperature functionalities, the desired coupling of charge, spin, orbital and lattice degrees of freedom often imposes stringent requirements on deposition conditions, layer thickness and crystal orientation, greatly hindering their cost-effective large-scale applications. Herein, we report an interface-driven multiferroicity in low-cost and environmentally friendly bulk polycrystalline material, namely cubic BaTiO3-SrTiO3 nanocomposites which were fabricated through a simple, high-throughput solid-state reaction route. Interface reconstruction in the nanocomposites can be readily controlled by the processing conditions. Coexistence of room-temperature ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity, accompanying a robust magnetoelectric coupling in the nanocomposites, was confirmed both experimentally and theoretically. Our study explores the hidden treasure at the interface' by creating a playground in bulk perovskite oxides, enabling a broad range of applications that are challenging with thin films, such as low-power-consumption large-volume memory and magneto-optic spatial light modulator.
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