Multiferroic magnetoelectrics are materials that are both ferromagnetic and ferroelectric in the same phase. As a result, they have a spontaneous magnetization that can be switched by an applied magnetic field and a spontaneous polarization that can be switched by an applied electric field. In this paper we show that density functional theory has been invaluable both in explaining the properties of known magnetically ordered ferroelectric materials, and in predicting the occurrence of new ones. Density functional calculations have shown that, in general, the transition metal electrons essential for magnetism reduce the tendency for off-center ferroelectric distortion. Consequently, an additional electronic or structural driving force must be present for ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity to occur simultaneously.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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