by Staff Writers
Chester, UK (SPX) Feb 25, 2016
Ever since Curie conjectured on "the symmetry in physical phenomena, symmetry of an electric field and a magnetic field", it has long been a dream for material scientists to search for this rather unusual class of material exhibiting the coexistence of magnetism and ferroelectricity in a single compound known as a multiferroic compound.
Multiferroic materials are a class of crystalline material which exhibit a number of unique properties, in which at least two order parameters exist simultaneously; ferro- (or antiferro) magnetic, ferroelectric and ferroelastic degrees of freedom.
These properties give rise to a number of useful and practical applications such as memory devices and sensors. Even though multiferroic materials are relatively commonplace much is still not known about their molecular make-up and properties.
This article [Sim et al. (2016), Acta Cryst. B72, 3-19; doi: 10.1107/S2052520615022106] presents an extended and comprehensive review of the structure and multiferroic properties of the hexagonal rare-earth manganite RMnO3, in which there are ferroelectric and magnetic orders.
Strong interaction between these orders causes a series of interesting properties of multiferroics. The review describes multiferroics with antiferromagnetic and ferroelectric orders.
Thanks to the extensive volume of works carried out in this field worldwide over the past decade or so, the list of materials exhibiting multiferroic behaviour has expanded far beyond the few that were studied in Russia at the time of Curie's conjecture in the 1960s.
This experimental renaissance of multiferroic physics gives a long overdue justification to the earlier pioneering theoretical works and judging by the pace of current research is set to continue well into the 21st Century.
A commentary about this paper has also been commissioned [Pirogov (2016), Acta Cryst. B72, 1-2; doi: 10.1107/S2052520616001062]
International Union of Crystallography
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|