Single-phase magnetoelectric multiferroics are ferroelectric materials that display some form of magnetism. In addition, magnetic and ferroelectric order parameters are not independent of one another. Thus, the application of either an electric or magnetic field simultaneously alters both the electrical dipole configuration and the magnetic state of the material. The technological possibilities that could arise from magnetoelectric multiferroics are considerable and a range of functional devices has already been envisioned. Realising these devices, however, requires coupling effects to be significant and to occur at room temperature. Although such characteristics can be created in piezoelectric-magnetostrictive composites, to date they have only been weakly evident in single-phase multiferroics. Here in a newly discovered room temperature multiferroic, we demonstrate significant room temperature coupling by monitoring changes in ferroelectric domain patterns induced by magnetic fields. An order of magnitude estimate of the effective coupling coefficient suggests a value of similar to 1 X 10(-7) sm(-1).
- ELECTRIC-FIELD CONTROL