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.
- domain dynamics