Complex perovskite oxides exhibit a rich spectrum of functional responses, including magnetism, ferroelectricity, highly correlated electron behavior, superconductivity, etc. The basic materials physics of such materials provide the ideal playground for interdisciplinary scientific exploration with an eye towards real applications. Over the past decade the oxide community has been exploring the science of such materials as crystals and in thin film form by creating epitaxial heterostructures and nanostructures. Among the large number of materials systems, there exists a small set of materials which exhibit multiple order parameters; these are known as multiferroics, particularly, the coexistence of ferroelectricity and some form of ordered magnetism (typically antiferromagnetism). The community has been able to demonstrate electric field control of both antiferromagnetism and ferromagnetism at room temperature. Current work is focused on ultralow energy (1 attoJoule/operation) electric field manipulation of magnetism as the backbone for the next generation of ultralow power electronics. In this lecture, I will describe our progress to date on this exciting possibility. The lecture will conclude with a summary of where the future research is going.
Ramamoorthy Ramesh is a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The Van Vlack Lecture Series was established in honor of L. H. Van Vlack, to provide a distinguished lecture series from the outstanding leaders in the field of Materials Science and Engineering.