Multiferroic materials attracted enormous interest in recent years due to their possible application for future devices. The simultaneous appearance of ferroelectricity and magnetic ordering is unique for these kind of materials. However, originally multiferroics with high ferroelectric ordering temperature did not exhibit a strong coupling of magnetic and electric properties. In such “simple” multiferroic materials also the antiferromagnetic ordering temperature and the ferroelectric Curie temperature are very different from each other which already indicates the strong independence of these two phenomena. Therefore, any a macroscopic magnetoelectric response in multiferroics with conventional ferroelectricity is, if existent at all, very small. However, it was a great surprise to observe the magnetic control of the ferroelectric polarization in so-caled spin-driven or magnetoelectric multiferroics where the ferroelectricity arises from the spin structure itself. Therefore, the ferroelectric (FE) properties are intimately coupled to the magnetic properties resulting in gigantic magnetoelectric effects which are desirable for possible future applications.
In our project we are seeking for new multiferroic materials. Students who are interested to be involved in the chemical synthesis (Fig. 1 & 2) and discovery of novel multiferroic materials are invited to participate in our ongoing research on an eight months visiting basis.