Tunable physical properties in BiAl1−xMnxO3 thin films with novel layered supercell structures†
Morphological control in oxide nanocomposites presents enormous opportunities for tailoring the physical properties. Here, we demonstrate the strong tunability of the magnetic and optical properties of Bi-based layered supercell (LSC) multiferroic structures, i.e., BiAl1−xMnxO3, by varying the Al : Mn molar ratio. The microstructure of the LSC structure evolves from a supercell structure to Al-rich pillars in the supercell structure as the Al molar ratio increases. The LSC structures present excellent multiferroic properties with preferred in-plane magnetic anisotropy, a tunable band gap and anisotropic dielectric permittivity, all attributed to the microstructure evolution and their anisotropic microstructure. Three different strain relaxation mechanisms are identified that are active during thin film growth. This study provides opportunities for microstructure and physical property tuning which can also be explored in other Bi-based LSC materials with tailorable multiferroic and optical properties.