Interfacial Electromagnetic Coupling in Multiferroic Tunnel Junctions

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project is jointly funded by the Electronic and Photonic Materials Program (EPM) and Ceramics Program (CER) in the Division of Materials Research (DMR).

Technical Description: Multiferroic tunnel junctions, which combine magnetic tunnel junctions with ferroelectric barriers, are potentially multilevel and multifunctional devices with low power consumptions. They have potential to realize electric control of magnetic states, which is critical for functional spintronic devices. This project aims to study the mechanisms of interfacial magnetoelectric coupling effect and the switching of the magnetic state by an electric field in multiferroic tunnel junctions. Interfacial magnetoelectric coupling depends on the atomic and chemical structures of both magnetic and the ferroelectric layers at the interfaces. By combining the design and controlled growth of heterostructures of different magnetic and ferroelectric oxides, measurements of the interfacial magnetic states, and measurements of magnetic and transport properties of the devices, the project seeks to understand the mechanisms of interfacial magnetoelectric interaction in several systems. These studies may lead to enhanced magnetoelectric coupling and new device concepts.

Non-technical Description: The project addresses a materials science challenge which has potential impact on next generation of electronic devices. By combining a very thin ferroelectric insulator, a material with spontaneous charge polarization, as the barrier with magnetic tunnel junctions that have been used for magnetic recording and sensors, new functionalities can be achieved. Success of the research can have significant impacts on realizing multilevel multifunctional devices with multiple independent controls. The educational goals of the project are to provide educational and training opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students, especially for female and underrepresented minority undergraduate students, with a stimulating environment for interdisciplinary experience in physics, materials sciences, and engineering. The PI has many years of experience in advising female and underrepresented groups through several established activities.

Effective start/end date6/1/124/30/15


  • National Science Foundation: $260,000.00


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