Martin, Lane W. Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California.
Ramesh, Ramamoorthy Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California.
- Order in multiferroics
- Multiferroism and magnetoelectricity
- Designing multiferroics and magnetoelectrics
- State-of-the-art multiferroics
- Additional Readings
Our technological world is built on functional materials. Such materials are essential to the operation of devices ranging from cell phones to laptops and beyond, which have long utilized many different types of functional materials, including magnets, ferroelectrics, and more. Today, however, the focus of researchers is on the future—on multifunctional and smart materials that will enable the next generation of computing, memory, logic, and more. One example of such materials is the multiferroics—materials that possess two or more of the properties ferromagnetism, ferroelectricity, and ferroelasticity in a single phase. The presence of multiple types of order (that is, ferromagnetic, ferroelectric, and so forth) means that multiferroics can have a spontaneous magnetization that can be changed by an applied magnetic field, a spontaneous polarization that can be changed by an applied electric field, and a spontaneous deformation that can be changed by an applied stress. Furthermore, such multiferroic materials can have cross-coupling between properties, thus giving rise to the ability to tune magnetic order with electric fields, polarization with magnetic fields, and so forth. It is the combination of these intriguing properties that has made multiferroics the focus of much research over the past decade and has poised them to make a great impact on the technological world.
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