Bocher, L.; Gloter, A.; Crassous, A.; Garcia, V.; March, K.; Zobelli, A.; Valencia, S.; Enouz-Vedrenne, S.; Moya, X.; Marthur, N.D.; Deranlot, C.; Fusil, S.; Bouzehouane, K.; Bibes, M.; Barthélémy, A.; Colliex, C.; Stéphan, O.: Atomic and Electronic Structure of the BaTiO3/Fe Interface in Multiferroic Tunnel Junctions. Nano Letters 12 (2012), p. 376-382
Artificial multiferroic tunnel junctions combining a ferroelectric tunnel barrier of BaTiO3 with magnetic electrodes display a tunnel magnetoresistance whose intensity can be controlled by the ferroelectric polarization of the barrier. This effect, called tunnel electromagnetoresistance (TEMR), and the corollary magnetoelectric coupling mechanisms at the BaTiO3/Fe interface were recently reported through macroscopic techniques. Here, we use advanced spectromicroscopy techniques by means of aberrationcorrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) to probe locally the nanoscale structural and electronic modifications at the ferroelectric/ferromagnetic interface. Atomically resolved real-space spectroscopic techniques reveal the presence of a single FeO layer between BaTiO3 and Fe. Based on this accurate description of the studied interface, we propose an atomistic model of the ferroelectric/ferromagnetic interface further validated by comparing experimental and simulated STEM images with atomic resolution. Density functional theory calculations allow us to interpret the electronic and magnetic properties of these interfaces and to understand better their key role in the physics of multiferroics nanostructures.