CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

English EN
Breaking Inversion Symmetry in Magnets: Understand via THeory

Breaking Inversion Symmetry in Magnets: Understand via THeory

Objective

Multiferroics (i.e. materials where ferroelectricity and magnetism coexist) are presently drawing enormous interests, due to their technologically-relevant multifunctional character and to the astoundingly rich playground for fundamental condensed-matter physics they constitute. Here, we put forward several concepts on how to break inversion symmetry and achieve sizable ferroelectricity in collinear magnets; our approach is corroborated via first-principles calculations as tools to quantitatively estimate relevant ferroelectric and magnetic properties as well as to reveal ab-initio the main mechanisms behind the dipolar and magnetic orders. In closer detail, we focus on the interplay between ferroelectricity and electronic degrees of freedom in magnets, i.e. on those cases where spin- or orbital- or charge-ordering can be the driving force for a spontaneous polarization to develop. Antiferromagnetism will be considered as a primary mechanism for lifting inversion symmetry; however, the effects of charge disproportionation and orbital ordering will also be studied by examining a wide class of materials, including ortho-manganites with E-type spin-arrangement, non-E-type antiferromagnets, nickelates, etc. Finally, as an example of materials-design accessible to our ab-initio approach, we use “chemistry” to break inversion symmetry by artificially constructing an oxide superlattice and propose a way to switch, via an electric field, from antiferromagnetism to ferrimagnetism. To our knowledge, the link between electronic degrees of freedom and ferroelectricity in collinear magnets is an almost totally unexplored field by ab-initio methods; indeed, its clear understanding and optimization would lead to a scientific breakthrough in the multiferroics area. Technologically, it would pave the way to materials design of magnetic ferroelectrics with properties persisting above room temperature and, therefore, to a novel generation of electrically-controlled spintronic devices
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Principal Investigator

Silvia Picozzi (Dr.)

Host institution

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Address

Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
00185 Roma

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 684 000

Principal Investigator

Silvia Picozzi (Dr.)

Administrative Contact

Barbara Cagnana (Dr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

Sort alphabetically

Sort by EU Contribution

Expand all

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 684 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 203523

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 May 2008

  • End date

    30 April 2012

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 684 000

  • EU contribution

    € 684 000

Hosted by:

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy