Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in Nano Letters 11:9 (2011), pp. 3862–3867; doi: 10.1021/nl201965r Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society. Used by permission.


We demonstrate unambiguous evidence of the electric field control of magnetic anisotropy in a wedge-shaped Co film of varying thickness. A copolymer ferroelectric of 70% vinylidene fluoride with 30% trifluoroethylene, P(VDF-TrFE) overlays the Co wedge, providing a large switchable electric field. As the ferroelectric polarization is switched from up to down, the magnetic anisotropy of the Co films changes by as much as 50%. At the lowest Co thickness the magnetic anisotropy switches from out-of-plane to inplane as the ferroelectric polarization changes from up to down, enabling us to rotate the magnetization through a large angle at constant magnetic field merely by switching the ferroelectric polarization. The large mismatch in the stiffness coefficients between the polymer ferroelectric and metallic ferromagnet excludes typical magnetoelectric strain coupling; rather, the magnetic changes arise from the large electric field at the ferroelectric/ferromagnet interface.

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