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Interface Magnetoelectric Coupling in Co/Pb(Zr,Ti)O3

Ondřej Vlašín, Romain Jarrier, Rémi Arras, Lionel Calmels, Bénédicte Warot-Fonrose, Cécile Marcelot, Matthieu Jamet, Philippe Ohresser, Fabrice Scheurer, Riccardo Hertel, Gervasi Herranz, and Salia Cherifi-Hertel*. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2016, 8 (11), pp 7553–7563. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b12777

Magnetoelectric coupling at multiferroic interfaces is a promising route toward the nonvolatile electric-field control of magnetization. Here, we use optical measurements to study the static and dynamic variations of the interface magnetization induced by an electric field in Co/PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3(Co/PZT) bilayers at room temperature. The measurements allow us to identify different coupling mechanisms. We further investigate the local electronic and magnetic structure of the interface by means of transmission electron microscopy, soft X-ray magnetic circular dichroism, and density functional theory to corroborate the coupling mechanism. The measurements demonstrate a mixed linear and quadratic optical response to the electric field, which results from a magneto-electro-optical effect. We propose a decomposition method of the optical signal to discriminate between different components involved in the electric field-induced polarization rotation of the reflected light. This allows us to extract a signal that we can ascribe to interface magnetoelectric coupling. The associated surface magnetization exhibits a clear hysteretic variation of odd symmetry with respect to the electric field and nonzero remanence. The interface coupling is remarkably stable over a wide frequency range (1–50 kHz), and the application of a bias magnetic field is not necessary for the coupling to occur. These results show the potential of exploiting interface coupling with the prospect of optimizing the performance of magnetoelectric memory devices in terms of stability, as well as fast and dissipationless operation.

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