Magnetoelectric Effect

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magnetoelectric effect

[mag¦nēd·ō·i′lek·trik i‚fekt]
(solid-state physics)
A linear coupling between magnetization and polarization found in certain magnetic ferroelectrics, such as BaMnF4 at low temperatures.

Magnetoelectric Effect


the appearance of magnetization J in crystals when they are placed in an electric field E (J = aE). The effect is possible only in magnetically ordered crystals (antiferromagnets, ferrimagnets, and ferromagnets).

In 1957, L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifshits first pointed out the possibility of the existence of the magnetoelectric effect. In 1959, on the basis of data concerning the magnetic symmetry of crystals, I. E. Dzialoshinskii predicted in what known antiferromagnets the magnetoelectric effect should be observed. The effect was discovered experimentally by D. N. Astrov in 1960 in the antiferromagnetic crystal Cr2O3. The magnitude of the magnetoelectric effect is small. The maximum value of the coefficient a for Cr2O3 is of the order of 2 ×10-6. The inverse effect also exists—the appearance of electrical polarization P when a crystal is placed in a magnetic field H (P = aH).


Vonsovskii, S. V. Magnetizm. Moscow, 1971.
Borovik-Romanov, A. S. “Antiferromagnetizm.” In the collection Antiferromagnetizm i ferrity. Moscow, 1962. (Itogi nauki: Fizikomatematicheskie nauki, fasc. 4.)


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The new scheme will be applied to study two fundamental properties of extended systems: the natural optical activity and the magnetoelectric effect in crystals of technological relevance, such as multiferroics and topological insulators.
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