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Room Temperature Tunable Multiferroic Properties in Sol-Gel-Derived Nanocrystalline Sr(Ti1−xFex)O3−δ Thin Films

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      Sr(Ti1−xFex)O3−δ (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.2) thin films were grown on Si(100) substrates with LaNiO3 buffer-layer by a sol-gel process. Influence of Fe substitution concentration on the structural, ferroelectric, and magnetic properties, as well as the leakage current behaviors of the Sr(Ti1−xFex)O3−δ thin films, were investigated by using the X-ray diffractometer (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), the ferroelectric test system, and the vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). After substituting a small amount of Ti ion with Fe, highly enhanced ferroelectric properties were obtained successfully in SrTi0.9Ti0.1O3−δ thin films, with a double remanent polarization (2Pr) of 1.56, 1.95, and 9.14 μC·cm−2, respectively, for the samples were annealed in air, oxygen, and nitrogen atmospheres. The leakage current densities of the Fe-doped SrTiO3 thin films are about 10−6–10−5 A·cm−2 at an applied electric field of 100 kV·cm−1, and the conduction mechanism of the thin film capacitors with various Fe concentrations has been analyzed. The ferromagnetic properties of the Sr(Ti1−xFex)O3−δ thin films have been investigated, which can be correlated to the mixed valence ions and the effects of the grain boundary. The present results revealed the multiferroic nature of the Sr(Ti1−xFex)O3−δ thin films. The effect of the annealing environment on the room temperature magnetic and ferroelectric properties of Sr(Ti0.9Fe0.1)O3−δ thin films were also discussed in detail.

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      Most cited references 52

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      Revised effective ionic radii and systematic studies of interatomic distances in halides and chalcogenides

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        Room-temperature ferroelectricity in strained SrTiO3.

        Systems with a ferroelectric to paraelectric transition in the vicinity of room temperature are useful for devices. Adjusting the ferroelectric transition temperature (T(c)) is traditionally accomplished by chemical substitution-as in Ba(x)Sr(1-x)TiO(3), the material widely investigated for microwave devices in which the dielectric constant (epsilon(r)) at GHz frequencies is tuned by applying a quasi-static electric field. Heterogeneity associated with chemical substitution in such films, however, can broaden this phase transition by hundreds of degrees, which is detrimental to tunability and microwave device performance. An alternative way to adjust T(c) in ferroelectric films is strain. Here we show that epitaxial strain from a newly developed substrate can be harnessed to increase T(c) by hundreds of degrees and produce room-temperature ferroelectricity in strontium titanate, a material that is not normally ferroelectric at any temperature. This strain-induced enhancement in T(c) is the largest ever reported. Spatially resolved images of the local polarization state reveal a uniformity that far exceeds films tailored by chemical substitution. The high epsilon(r) at room temperature in these films (nearly 7,000 at 10 GHz) and its sharp dependence on electric field are promising for device applications.
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          Why Are There so Few Magnetic Ferroelectrics?


            Author and article information

            [1 ]School of Physics & Optoelectric Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre, Guangzhou 510006, China; wangyiguang2011@ (Y.-G.W.); liuqx@ (Q.-X.L.); ypjiang@ (Y.-P.J.)
            [2 ]Laboratory Teaching Center, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China; jianglili@
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: xgtang@ ; Tel./Fax: +86-20-3932-2265
            Nanomaterials (Basel)
            Nanomaterials (Basel)
            08 September 2017
            September 2017
            : 7
            : 9
            © 2017 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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