Magnetic phase coupled to an electric memory state in d0 oxide ZrO2 films

Jo, Y.; Hwang, I. R.; Park, B. H.; Lee, K. J.; Lee, S. I.; Jung, M. H.
December 2009
Applied Physics Letters;12/28/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 26, p263504
Academic Journal
It is quite interesting to develop a multifunctional device using a single material with a simple structure. One of the possible candidates could be multiferroics, which are both ferroelectric and magnetic. By taking advantage of the strong spin-charge coupling, the electric field can control the magnetic polarization and the magnetic field can control the electric polarization. However, these multiferroics are not yet attractive for practical applications because none of the existing materials combine large and robust electric and magnetic polarizations at room temperature. Here, we report an unusual functional material showing a magnetic phase strongly coupled to an electric memory state at room temperature. An oxygen-vacant ZrO2 thin film generates bistable resistive switching between high-resistance (HR) and low-resistance (LR) states by applying external voltage, and it is ferromagnetic at the HR state but nonmagnetic at the LR state. This unique feature is applicable to unusual functional devices, such as electric-field-controlled magnetic data storage devices.


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