Multiferroics, showing both ferroelectric and magnetic order, are promising candidates for future electronic devices. Especially, the fundamental understanding of ferroelectric switching is of key relevance for further improvements, which however is rarely reported in literature. On a prime example for a spin-driven multiferroic, LiCuVO4, we present an extensive study of the ferroelectric order and the switching behavior as function of external electric and magnetic fields. From frequency-dependent polarization switching and using the Ishibashi-Orihara theory, we deduce the existence of ferroelectric domains and domain-walls. These have to be related to counterclockwise and clockwise spin-spirals leading to the formation of multiferroic domains. A novel measurement – multiferroic hysteresis loop – is established to analyze the electrical polarization simultaneously as a function of electrical and magnetic fields. This technique allows characterizing the complex coupling between ferroelectric and magnetic order in multiferroic LiCuVO4.
Multiferroicity; LiCuVO4; Spin-driven improper ferroelectricity; Hysteresis in magnetic fields, Multiferroic Hysteresis Loop
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