Room-temperature polar ferromagnet ScFeO3 transformed from a high-pressure orthorhombic perovskite phase

Takahiro Kawamoto, Koji Fujita, Ikuya Yamada, Tomohiko Matoba, Sung Joo Kim, Peng Gao, Xiaoqing Pan, Scott D. Findlay, Cédric Tassel, Hiroshi Kageyama, Andrew J. Studer, James Hester, Tetsuo Irifune, Hirofumi Akamatsu, Katsuhisa Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Multiferroic materials have been the subject of intense study, but it remains a great challenge to synthesize those presenting both magnetic and ferroelectric polarizations at room temperature. In this work, we have successfully obtained LiNbO3-type ScFeO3, a metastable phase converted from the orthorhombic perovskite formed under 15 GPa at elevated temperatures. A combined structure analysis by synchrotron X-ray and neutron powder diffraction and high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging reveals that this compound adopts the polar R3c symmetry with a fully ordered arrangement of trivalent Sc and Fe ions, forming highly distorted ScO6 and FeO6 octahedra. The calculated spontaneous polarization along the hexagonal c-axis is as large as 100 μC/cm2. The magnetic studies show that LiNbO3-type ScFeO3 is a weak ferromagnet with TN = 545 K due to a canted G-type antiferromagnetic ordering of Fe3+ spins, representing the first example of LiNbO3-type oxides with magnetic ordering far above room temperature. A comparison of the present compound and rare-earth orthorhombic perovskites RFeO3 (R = La-Lu and Y), all of which possess the corner-shared FeO6 octahedral network, allows us to find a correlation between TN and the Fe-O-Fe bond angle, indicating that the A-site cation-size-dependent octahedral tilting dominates the magnetic transition through the Fe-O-Fe superexchange interaction. This work provides a general and versatile strategy to create materials in which ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism coexist at high temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15291-15299
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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