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Magnetoelectric Multiferroics


Prelims: Sci & tech (scientific concepts), Magnetoelectric multiferroics, MnBi2S4

Mains:  General Studies III- Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life

Why in the News ?

Scientists uncover unique properties in a multiferroic material potential for energy-efficient data storage.

Source: PIB

Key Facts 🗝️

  • Researchers have identified a unique mechanism of electric polarization via magnetic ordering in a novel mineral named “MnBi2S4”
  • It can be useful for energy efficient data storage.


  • Magnetoelectric Multiferroics :
    • Special class of materials popular among the research fraternity for their rarity and unique properties.
    • Exhibit both magnetism and ferroelectricity simultaneously.
    • Application: For advanced technology applications like spintronics, electronic memory devices, and other electronic components like actuators and switches.
  • MnBi2S4 :
    • It is also known as mineral graţianite.
    • It has distinct magnetic structures in the material :
      • spin density wave, 
      • cycloidal spin structure
      • helical spin structure
    • It is also known to be centrosymmetric, undergoes magnetic ordering at low temperatures (27, 23, and 21.5 Kelvins).
  • Its important in the strong coupling between magnetism and electric polarization.
  • It is driven by magnetic frustration, represents a breakthrough in magnetoelectric coupling.
  • Specifically, if the material possesses the ability to exhibit the same phenomena at room temperature, it could pave the way for energy-efficient manipulation of spin using small electric fields.
  • This could revolutionize data storage by reducing energy consumption during writing processes.
  • These findings can be helpful for the development of four-state logic memory system, providing additional degrees of freedom for device performance compared to the current binary logic systems.

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