The theoretical and experimental studies of self-assembled multiferroic nanostructures in epitaxial films were combined to reveal the dominant role of elastic interactions, as caused by expitaxial stresses during growth, in defining the nanostructure morphologies. A phase-field model, which considered individual phases in the film as elastic domains and assumed equilibrium nanostructures corresponding to the minimum of elastic and interfacial energies, succeeded in accurate prediction of complex morphologies observed in epitaxial multiferroic CoFe2O4 -PbTiO3 films grown on SrTiO3 substrates having (001), (110), and (111) orientations. These results open an opportunity for a theoretical design of multiferroic nanostructures having desirable phase architectures.
Citation: Physical Review Letters
Pub Type: Journals
elastic interactions, epitaxial films, multiferroics, self-assembled nanostructures