Ferroelectricity in an S=1/2 chain cuprate

S. Park, Y. J. Choi, C. L. Zhang, S. W. Cheong

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325 Citations (Scopus)


We report our discovery of ferroelectricity in the spiral-magnetic state in the quantum quasi-one-dimensional (1D) S=1/2 magnet of LiCu2O2. Electric polarization (P) emerges along the c direction below the spiral-magnetic order temperature, but changes from the c to a axis when magnetic fields (H) are applied along the b direction. We also found that Pc increases with Hc, and Pa appears with Ha. LiCu2O2 in zero field appears to be the first ferroelectric cuprate and also a prototypical example of the "1D spiral-magnetic ferroelectrics." However, the unexpected behavior in H may demonstrate the complexity of the ordered spin configuration, inherent in the 1D S=1/2 magnet of LiCu2O2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number057601
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 31

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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