Magnetically-induced electric polarization in an organo-metallic magnet

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The coupling between magnetic order and ferroelectricity has been under intense investigation in a wide range of transition metal oxides. The strongest coupling is obtained in so-called magnetically induced multiferroics where ferroelectricity arises directly from magnetic order that breaks inversion symmetry. However, it has been difficult to find non-oxide based materials in which these effects occur. Here we present a study of copper dimethyl sulfoxide dichloride (CDC), an organometallic quantum magnet containing S =1/1 Cu spins, in which a switchable electric polarization arises from field-tuned magnetic order. Fast magnetic field pulses allow us to perform sensitive measurements of the electric ... continued below

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Zapf, W S; Fabris, F W; Balakirev, F F; Francoual, S M; Kenzelmann, M & Chen, Y January 1, 2009.

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The coupling between magnetic order and ferroelectricity has been under intense investigation in a wide range of transition metal oxides. The strongest coupling is obtained in so-called magnetically induced multiferroics where ferroelectricity arises directly from magnetic order that breaks inversion symmetry. However, it has been difficult to find non-oxide based materials in which these effects occur. Here we present a study of copper dimethyl sulfoxide dichloride (CDC), an organometallic quantum magnet containing S =1/1 Cu spins, in which a switchable electric polarization arises from field-tuned magnetic order. Fast magnetic field pulses allow us to perform sensitive measurements of the electric polarization and demonstrate that the electric state is present only if the magnetic order is non-collinear. Furthermore, we show that the electric polarization can be switched in a stunning hysteretic fashion. Because the magnetic order in CDC is mediated by large organic molecules, our study shows that magnetoelectric interactions can exist in this important class of materials, opening the road to designing magnetoelectrics and multiferroics using large molecules as building blocks. Further, we demonstrate that CDC undergoes a magnetoelectric quantum phase transition -the first of its kind, where both ferroelectric and magnetic order emerge simultaneously as a function of magnetic field at very low temperatures.

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  • Journal Name: Nature

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-00895
  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-895
  • Grant Number: AC52-06NA25396
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 956417
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc930456

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  • January 1, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 12:23 p.m.

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Zapf, W S; Fabris, F W; Balakirev, F F; Francoual, S M; Kenzelmann, M & Chen, Y. Magnetically-induced electric polarization in an organo-metallic magnet, article, January 1, 2009; [New Mexico]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930456/: accessed August 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.