Theoretical investigation of ferroic instabilities in confined geometries and distorted lattices

Abstract : In this thesis, we present a theoretical study of two types of ferroic instabilities: the ferroelectric instability in novel confined geometries and magnetic instabilities controlled by the distortion of the underlying crystal lattice. On the one hand, we consider in detail the ferroelectric instability, specifically, in the nanotubes and the spherical nanoshells and develop a phenomenological theory for describing such an instability. We determine how the emergence of polarization is affected bythe thickness of the nanoparticle, the dielectric properties of the surrounding media and the interfacial boundary conditions. We finnd an intriguing topological finite-size effect that can promote an unexpected competition between two different types of distribution of polarization - irrotational and vortex-like - in the ultra-thin limit. One the other hand, we employ a different formalism to investigate the structural, electronic and magnetic properties of the rare-earth manganites. Specifically,we conduct a theoretical investigation from first-principles calculations. First, we predict a pressure-induced A-AFM insulator to FM metal transition on EuMnO3 under hydrostatic pressure, that is unprecedented in the multiferroic rare-earth manganites RMnO3. This investigation is extended to the study to the epitaxial strain effects on both EuMnO3 and TbMnO3 thin films. We show that epitaxial strain generates a much richer phase diagram compared to hydrostatic pressure. We predict novel magnetically-induced insulator { metal and polar { non-polar transitions. More specifically, we find that both the multiferroic E-AFM order and the polar metallic E*-AFM state are stabilized in TbMnO3 by means of epitaxial strain. In the contrast, we find a novel epitaxial-strain-induced multiferroic E-AFM state in EuMnO3 that cannot be obtained by means of just hydrostatic pressure.
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Ruihao Qiu. Theoretical investigation of ferroic instabilities in confined geometries and distorted lattices. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université de Bordeaux, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017BORD0660⟩. ⟨tel-01906955⟩

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