Studies of the Room-Temperature Multiferroic Pb(Fe0.5Ta0.5)0.4(Zr0.53Ti0.47)0.6O3: Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy, Dielectric, and Magnetic Phenomena



Recently, lead iron tantalate/lead zirconium titanate (PZTFT) was demonstrated to possess large, but unreliable, magnetoelectric coupling at room temperature. Such large coupling would be desirable for device applications but reproducibility would also be critical. To better understand the coupling, the properties of all 3 ferroic order parameters, elastic, electric, and magnetic, believed to be present in the material across a range of temperatures, are investigated. In high temperature elastic data, an anomaly is observed at the orthorhombic mm2 to tetragonal 4mm transition, Tot = 475 K, and a softening trend is observed as the temperature is increased toward 1300 K, where the material is known to become cubic. Thermal degradation makes it impossible to measure elastic behavior up to this temperature, however. In the low temperature region, there are elastic anomalies near ≈40 K and in the range 160–245 K. The former is interpreted as being due to a magnetic ordering transition and the latter is interpreted as a hysteretic regime of mixed rhombohedral and orthorhombic structures. Electrical and magnetic data collected below room temperature show anomalies at remarkably similar temperature ranges to the elastic data. These observations are used to suggest that the three order parameters in PZTFT are strongly coupled.