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Coupling in Multiferroic and MagnetoElectric Composites (CiMMEC)
Start date: Sep 1, 2009, End date: Aug 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This proposal has 2 objectives: to carry out a successful scientific project, and to develop and broaden the scientific and transferable skills of the researcher, as a first step in establishing them as an independent researcher. Scientific goal: to make novel composite ceramics with magnetoelectric (ME) / multiferroic (MF) coupling. ME materials provide coupled magnetic and electronic properties. MF materials have direct coupling between their ferroic properties. This can be via a direct (applied field) or indirect (applied voltage/strain) stimulus. ME and MF properties often overlap, but not all ME materials are necessarily MF. There has been an explosion of interest in such materials in recent years, as they have a multitude of potential applications. Most research has looked at single phase MF materials – which unfortunately are inherently very difficult to produce. This project counteracts this problem by investigating ME / MF coupling in two-phase composite ceramic materials, consisting of magnetic and dielectric components. Key scientific objectives: 1 Manufacture of ME / MF composites from hexaferrite and dielectric / ferroelectric / piezoelectric materials 2 Their physical and structural characterisation 3 Their magnetic and (di)electrical characterisation over a range of frequencies and temperatures 4 Their characterisation using Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM), Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) and Piezo Force Microscopy (PFM) 5 The demonstration of ME/MF coupling in such materials Training goals: These will add to the researcher’s skill and knowledge base, and help establish them as an independent researcher: Gain deeper knowledge of ME/MF materials Gain experience of SPM techniques Gain expertise in TEM Training in ME / MF coupling measurements Establish the researcher in the ME/MF community Benefit from mentoring and guidance on grant writing

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