Electric-field control of magnetic domain wall motion and local magnetization reversal

Tuomas H.E. Lahtinen, Kévin J.A. Franke, Sebastiaan van Dijken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

215 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Spintronic devices currently rely on magnetic switching or controlled motion of domain walls by an external magnetic field or spin-polarized current. Achieving the same degree of magnetic controllability using an electric field has potential advantages including enhanced functionality and low power consumption. Here we report on an approach to electrically control local magnetic properties, including the writing and erasure of regular ferromagnetic domain patterns and the motion of magnetic domain walls, in CoFe-BaTiO3 heterostructures. Our method is based on recurrent strain transfer from ferroelastic domains in ferroelectric media to continuous magnetostrictive films with negligible magnetocrystalline anisotropy. Optical polarization microscopy of both ferromagnetic and ferroelectric domain structures reveals that domain correlations and strong inter-ferroic domain wall pinning persist in an applied electric field. This leads to an unprecedented electric controllability over the ferromagnetic microstructure, an accomplishment that produces giant magnetoelectric coupling effects and opens the way to electric-field driven spintronics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number258
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • domain dynamics
  • magnetism
  • multiferroics
  • spintronics


Dive into the research topics of 'Electric-field control of magnetic domain wall motion and local magnetization reversal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this