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Materials 2014, 7(7), 5403-5426; doi:10.3390/ma7075403

Effects of Interfaces on the Structure and Novel Physical Properties in Epitaxial Multiferroic BiFeO3 Ultrathin Films

Department of Physics, South University of Science and Technology of China, Shenzhen 518055, China
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Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 29 June 2014 / Accepted: 4 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultra Thin Ferroic Materials)
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Abstract

In functional oxide films, different electrical/mechanical boundaries near film surfaces induce rich phase diagrams and exotic phenomena. In this paper, we review some key points which underpin structure, phase transition and related properties in BiFeO3 ultrathin films. Compared with the bulk counterparts, we survey the recent results of epitaxial BiFeO3 ultrathin films to illustrate how the atomic structure and phase are markedly influenced by the interface between the film and the substrate, and to emphasize the roles of misfit strain and depolarization field on determining the domain patterns, phase transformation and associated physical properties of BiFeO3 ultrathin films, such as polarization, piezoelectricity, and magnetism. One of the obvious consequences of the misfit strain on BiFeO3 ultrathin films is the emergence of a sequence of phase transition from tetragonal to mixed tetragonal & rhombohedral, the rhombohedral, mixed rhombohedral & orthorhombic, and finally orthorhombic phases. Other striking features of this system are the stable domain patterns and the crossover of 71° and 109° domains with different electrical boundary conditions on the film surface, which can be controlled and manipulated through the depolarization field. The external field-sensitive enhancements of properties for BiFeO3 ultrathin films, including the polarization, magnetism and morphotropic phase boundary-relevant piezoelectric response, offer us deeper insights into the investigations of the emergent properties and phenomena of epitaxial ultrathin films under various mechanical/electrical constraints. Finally, we briefly summarize the recent progress and list open questions for future study on BiFeO3 ultrathin films. View Full-Text
Keywords: BiFeO3 ultrathin film; misfit strain; depolarization field; phase transition; domain pattern; strain-induced morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) BiFeO3 ultrathin film; misfit strain; depolarization field; phase transition; domain pattern; strain-induced morphotropic phase boundary (MPB)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, C.; Chen, L. Effects of Interfaces on the Structure and Novel Physical Properties in Epitaxial Multiferroic BiFeO3 Ultrathin Films. Materials 2014, 7, 5403-5426.

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