3 dimensional multiferroic nanostructure (physics)
Multiferroic materials are those that exhibit simultaneous ferroelectric, piezoelectric and ferromagnetic properties. These materials offer the exciting possibility of cross-coupling between electric and magnetic orders, a process known as magneto-electrical coupling. This coupling enables the control of ferroelectric polarisation with magnetic field and conversely the manipulation of
magnetisation with electric field. Such coupling allows the exciting possibility of new solid state memories whereby the magnetisation of each element can be controlled using a voltage, rather than a spatially extended magnetic field. Today there are two
different types of multiferroic materials; single phase, that intrinsically have ferroelectric and ferromagnetic order such as TbMnO3 and multilayer structures consisting of a ferromagnetic material grown on top of a ferroelectric. Single phase materials have shown promise in demonstrating magneto-electrical coupling but can be difficult to fabricate and have the disadvantage in that the relative
ferroelectric/ferromagnetic effects are intrinsic to the electronic configuration of the material. Multilayered structures offer the potential to combine the properties of particular ferroelectric/ferromagnetic material but this generally only leads to weak magneto electrical coupling, since the interface between the two materials are a very small fraction of the volume. Recently advances in lithography processes allows the creation of 3D nanostructures of arbitrary geometry. This studentship will involve the fabrication and characterisation of novel 3D composite multiferroic materials. The research will create a new class of multiferroic metamaterials whereby the individual magnetic and electrical properties can be tuned by altering the materials used, as well as by changing the 3D geometry/interface of each component. Samples will be subject to standard structural characterisation such as atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy as well as magnetic and electrical characterisation. TThe project may ultimately help determine a role for multiferroic metamaterials in next generation solid state memories.
This project is available to students able to self-fund. Applicants will also be considered for MPhil study if requested.
How good is research at Cardiff University in Physics?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 19.50
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