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Univ. Paris-Saclay

Sujet de stage / Master 2 Internship

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Sub-micron imaging of the different orders in multiferroics

Contact: CHAULEAU Jean-Yves, , jean-yves.chauleau@cea.fr, +33 1 69 08 72 17
The idea of ​​the internship is to develop an imaging technique combining near field and second harmonic generation in order to image multiferroic materials with a largely sub-micrometric resolution.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Oui
Deadline for application:30/04/2021

Full description:
Antiferromagnets (AF) are currently in the limelight thanks to recent breakthroughs demonstrating the efficient effect of spin currents in interacting with the AF order parameter [1,2]. So far, due to the lack of net magnetization, controlling AF distributions has been rather challenging. Current-induced AF control also opens new perspectives in Terahertz magnetization dynamics. On the materials side, antiferromagnets represent the large majority of magnetic materials and some of them show several simultaneous coupled ordered phases. They are commonly called ‘multiferroics’. As a result, when the AF order is coupled to a net polarization, it may be controlled by applying a voltage. Multiferroic materials [3] are the focus of an intense research effort due to the significant technological interest of multifunctional materials as well as the rich fundamental physics stemming in the coupling of various order parameters.

Among all multiferroics, BiFeO3 (BFO) is a material of choice because its two ordering temperatures (ferroelectric FE and AF) are well above room temperature. In addition, a large magnetoelectric coupling has been demonstrated in single crystals as well as in thin films. One downside of multiferroics is that these FE/AF textures can be rather challenging to assess. Second harmonic generation, a non-linear optical approach, has proven to be a powerful and elegant way to image complex multiferroïc textures and to untangle the different contributions at play [4]. In CEA/SPEC, we are experienced in assessing ferroelectric and antiferromagnetic distributions with sub-micron resolution [5]. However, for most systems, such a resolution is not enough as AF domains are rather in the 200nm range.

We are now developing a new technique based on Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy to optimize our spatial resolution. Our first results are very encouraging as we are reaching 20nm resolution and we just obtained our first second harmonic signal.

During this internship, the student will be trained in laser optics and will perform near-field non-linear optics experiments. Ideally, the internship would continue in a PhD as the proposed subject is part of a long-term effort on these materials.

[1] T. Jungwirth, X. Marti, P. Wadley and J. Wunderlich Nature Nanotech. 11, 231 (2016) [2] P. Wadley and al. Science 351, 587 (2016) [3] N. Spalding and M. Fiebig, Science, 309, 391 (2005) [4] M. Fiebig & al., Nature, 419, 818, (2002) [5] J.-Y. Chauleau & al., Nature Materials, 16, 803, (2017)
Technics/methods used during the internship:
Optical microscopy, ultra-fast lasers, oxide deposition

Tutor of the internship


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