Magnetoelectric Oxide Nanocomposite Heterostructures

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Virginia Tech

Multiferroics have attracted lots of research interest due to their potential in numerous multifunctional applications. The multiferroic materials could simultaneously exhibit two or more ferroic order parameters, and the coupling effects between ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism are named as magnetoelectric (ME) effect. Recently, with the development of thin film growth techniques, the multiferroics magnetoelectric composite heterostructures exhibit a very promising future prospects. This dissertation focused on the design, fabrication and characterization of new multiferroics magnetoelectric composite heterostructures. First, based on the specific phase architectures in BFO-CFO self-assembled thin films grown on variously oriented STO substrates and the epitaxial film growth knowledge, I designed two kinds of new film heterostructures: (i) I utilized self-assembled BFO nanopillars in a BFO-CFO two phase layer on (111) STO as a seed layer on which to deposit a secondary top BiFeO3 layer. The growth mechanism and multiferroic properties of these new heterostructures were investigated. (ii) I demonstrated the formation of a new quasi-(0-3) heterostructure by alternately growing (2-2) and (1-3) layers within the film. I proposed a new concept to overcome limitations of both the (2-2) and (1-3) phase connectivities and identified an indirect ME effect by the switching the characteristics of the piezoresponse for the new heterostructure. Second, for the option for candidates thin film materials with a high piezoelectric coefficient, which is a critical factor for ME composite films, I utilized the simple compositional BaSn0.11Ti0.89O3 bulk ceramic material as a target to grow films with the large piezoelectric properties. The grown high qualify lead-free epitaxial thin films had a chemical constituent similar to the reported giant piezoelectric ceramics near the MPB and with the QP. Both coherent and incoherent regions were observed in the interface and a larger piezoelectric coefficient d33 was achieved in this film. Finally, with respect to their characteristics and potential, I redirected from two-dimensional thin film materials to one-dimensional nanowire materials. By utilizing vertically aligned templates, I fabricated a new type of coaxial two-phase composite nanowires. Multiferroic properties of these new one-dimensional materials have been investigated. All these multiferroics magnetoelectric composite herterostructures would provide lots of potential in applications.

Multiferroic, magnetoelectric, nanocomposite, ferroelectric, piezoelectric, ferromagnetic, magnetostrictive, self-assemble, epitaxial, thin film, nanowire, pulsed laser deposition