655 research outputs found

    Ultrathin films of ferroelectric solid solutions under residual depolarizing field

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    A first-principles-derived approach is developed to study the effects of uncompensated depolarizing electric fields on the properties of Pb(Zr,Ti)O3_3 ultrathin films for different mechanical boundary conditions. A rich variety of ferroelectric phases and polarization patterns is found, depending on the interplay between strain and amount of screening of surface charges. Examples include triclinic phases, monoclinic states with in-plane and/or out-of-plane components of the polarization, homogeneous and inhomogeneous tetragonal states, as well as, peculiar laminar nanodomains.Comment: REVTeX, 7 pages, 2 figures, fig 2 in colo

    Magnetic Interactions in BiFeO3_3: a First-Principles Study

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    First-principles calculations, in combination with the four-state energy mapping method, are performed to extract the magnetic interaction parameters of multiferroic BiFeO3_3. Such parameters include the symmetric exchange (SE) couplings and the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya (DM) interactions up to second nearest neighbors, as well as the single ion anisotropy (SIA). All magnetic parameters are obtained not only for the R3cR3c structural ground state, but also for the R3mR3m and R3ˉcR\bar{3}c phases in order to determine the effects of ferroelectricity and antiferrodistortion distortions, respectively, on these magnetic parameters. In particular, two different second-nearest neighbor couplings are identified and their origins are discussed in details. Moreover, Monte-Carlo (MC) simulations using a magnetic Hamiltonian incorporating these first-principles-derived interaction parameters are further performed. They result (i) not only in the accurate prediction of the spin-canted G-type antiferromagnetic structure and of the known magnetic cycloid propagating along a direction, as well as their unusual characteristics (such as a weak magnetization and spin-density-waves, respectively); (ii) but also in the finding of another cycloidal state of low-energy and that awaits to be experimentally confirmed. Turning on and off the different magnetic interaction parameters in the MC simulations also reveal the precise role of each of them on magnetism

    Interplay between Kitaev interaction and single ion anisotropy in ferromagnetic CrI3_3 and CrGeTe3_3 monolayers

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    Magnetic anisotropy is crucially important for the stabilization of two-dimensional (2D) magnetism, which is rare in nature but highly desirable in spintronics and for advancing fundamental knowledge. Recent works on CrI3_3 and CrGeTe3_3 monolayers not only led to observations of the long-time-sought 2D ferromagnetism, but also revealed distinct magnetic anisotropy in the two systems, namely Ising behavior for CrI3_3 versus Heisenberg behavior for CrGeTe3_3. Such magnetic difference strongly contrasts with structural and electronic similarities of these two materials, and understanding it at a microscopic scale should be of large benefits. Here, first-principles calculations are performed and analyzed to develop a simple Hamiltonian, to investigate magnetic anisotropy of CrI3_3 and CrGeTe3_3 monolayers. The anisotropic exchange coupling in both systems is surprisingly determined to be of Kitaev-type. Moreover, the interplay between this Kitaev interaction and single ion anisotropy (SIA) is found to naturally explain the different magnetic behaviors of CrI3_3 and CrGeTe3_3. Finally, both the Kitaev interaction and SIA are further found to be induced by spin-orbit coupling of the heavy ligands (I of CrI3_3 or Te of CrGeTe3_3) rather than the commonly believed 3d magnetic Cr ions

    Effects of atomic short-range order on the properties of perovskite alloys in their morphotropic phase boundary

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    The effects of atomic short-range order on the properties of Pb(Zr_{1-x}Ti_x)O_3 alloy in its morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) are predicted by combining first-principles-based methods and annealing techniques. Clustering is found to lead to a compositional expansion of this boundary, while the association of unlike atoms yields a contraction of this region. Atomic short-range order can thus drastically affect properties of perovskite alloys in their MPB, by inducing phase transitions. Microscopic mechanisms responsible for these effects are revealed and discussed.Comment: 4 pages, with 2 postscript figures embedded. Uses REVTEX4 and graphicx macro