Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

First-time synthesis of magnetoelectric core-shell composite via conventional solid-state reaction


In recent years, multiferroics and magnetoelectrics have demonstrated their potential for a variety of applications. However, no magnetoelectric material has been translated to a real application yet. Here, we report the first magnetoelectric in situ core-shell ceramic, where core-shell type grains develop during the sintering process. The core consists of ferrimagnetic CoFe2O4, which is surrounded by a ferroelectric shell consisting of (BiFeO3)x-(Bi1/2K1/2TiO3)1-x. We establish the core-shell nature of these grains by transmission-electron microscopy (TEM) and find an epitaxial crystallographic relation between core and shell, with a lattice mismatch of 6±0.7%. The core-shell grains exhibit exceptional magnetoelectric coupling effects, which we attribute to the epitaxial connection between the magnetic and ferroelectric phase, which also leads to exchange bias coupling as demonstrated by neutron diffraction. Apparently, ferrimagnetic CoFe2O4 cores undergo a non-centrosymmetric distortion of the crystal structure upon epitaxial strain from shell, which leads to simultaneous ferrimagnetism and piezoelectricity. We conclude that core-shell ceramics offer a number of advantages over other magnetoelectric composites, such as lower leakage current, higher density and absence of substrate clamping effects. At the same time, the material is predestined for applications, since preparation is cost-effective and only requires a single sintering step. This discovery adds a promising new perspective for the application of magnetoelectric materials.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

27 Mar 2020
22 Jun 2020
First published
25 Jun 2020

Nanoscale, 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type

First-time synthesis of magnetoelectric core-shell composite via conventional solid-state reaction

L. F. Henrichs, X. Mu, T. Scherer, U. Gerhards, S. Schuppler, P. Nagel, M. Merz, C. Kuebel, M. H. Fawey, T. C. Hansen and H. Hahn, Nanoscale, 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0NR02475A

Social activity

Search articles by author