Magnetoelectric multiferroics are materials in which two types of ordering - magnetism (the spontaneous ordering of magnetic moments) and ferroelectricity (the spontaneous ordering of electric dipole moments) can coexist in one material in the absence of external electric and magnetic fields; i.e. their electric and magnetic dipoles are coupled through the magnetoelectric effect. Hexaferrites are family of magnetic oxides containing iron as the major metallic component and combine room temperature ferrimagnetic and insulating properties. Some members of this family (namely Sr3-xBaxCo2Fe24O41 compounds (Z-type)) belong to type-II magnetoelectric multiferroics, where ferroelectricity is induced magnetically through the inversion symmetry breaking and formation of complex magnetic orders.
Till this time, these compounds has been synthetized and studied exclusively in the form of bulk ceramics and single crystals. Considering the general demand for downsizing the microprocessor technologies, the technology offered for production of thin Z hexaferrite films can be vital for integration of functional multiferroic elements with standard semiconductor platforms and thus allowing for system-on-a-wafer architectures.
The Chemical Solution Deposition (CSD) method, a variant of sol-gel methods, is a wet chemical and multistep process involving both chemical and physical processes enabling transformation of chemical solution of starting precursors into the final crystalline phase. The Z-type hexaferrites grown on a proper substrate are single phased with strong preferred orientation (see Fig. 1). They exhibit weak ferromagnetic properties and temperature dependence of magnetization reveals several metamagnetic transitions and changes in magnetic anisotropy (see Figs. 2).
The CSD technology offered by the Czech researchers uses conventional inorganic compounds as metal precursors, water as the main solvent, and certain organic modifiers enabling and providing the solution system with satisfactory chemical stability and optimum rheological and wetting properties. The growth of strongly c-axis oriented Z-type ferrite is enabled by selection of substrates with suitable structural and chemical properties, and through optimized deposition and heat treatment conditions. The technology offered enables precise tuning of chemical composition (and hence the temperature at which the maxima of magnetoelectric effect can be observed).
The researchers are looking for industry partners or research institutes, which are skilled and experienced in the field of physics of solid state magnetics, microwave and magneto-electric materials, or in design and development of units demonstrating possible applications of magneto-electric multiferroics. The ideal partner sought is industrial or research partner focused on physical engineering willing to jointly build a demonstration unit etc.
In the case of research cooperation agreement: cooperation based on a joint European project (e.g. Horizon 2020 / Future and emerging technologies (FET Open), Industrial leadership etc.) is preferred.
In the case of technical cooperation agreement: the aim of the cooperation is to get a survey of the possibilities of the described technology and to get summary know-how which could be subsequently a subject of commercialization. The cooperation should involve an experimental testing of the individual thin-film-substrate systems used in CSD and implementation of this system into a demonstration unit.