Coexisting ferromagnetic and ferroelectric order in a CuCl 4-based organic-inorganic hybrid

Alexey O. Polyakov, Anne H. Arkenbout, Jacob Baas, Graeme R. Blake, Auke Meetsma, Antonio Caretta, Paul H.M. Van Loosdrecht, Thomas T.M. Palstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the structural, magnetic, and dielectric properties of the organic-inorganic hybrid material CuCl 4(C 6H 5CH 2CH 2NH 3) 2 and demonstrate that spontaneous ferroelectric order sets in below 340 K, which coexists with ferromagnetic ordering below 13 K. We use X-ray diffraction to show that the electric polarization results from the spatial ordering of hydrogen bonds that link the organic block comprised of phenylethylammonium cations to the inorganic copper chloride block. The hydrogen bond ordering is driven by buckling of the corner-linked copper chloride octahedra. Because the magnetic exchange pathways are also determined by this octahedral buckling, a potentially large magnetoelectric coupling is induced. Our results imply that such hybrids form a new family of multiferroic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry of materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Ferroelectric
  • Ferromagnetic
  • Metal-oxide framework
  • Multiferroics
  • Organic-inorganic hybrids
  • n/a OA procedure


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