Analogies and Differences between Ferroelectrics and Ferromagnets

  • Nicola A. SpaldinEmail author
Part of the Topics in Applied Physics book series (TAP, volume 105)


We describe the similarities and differences between ferromagnets – materials that have a spontaneous magnetization that is switchable by an applied magnetic field – and ferroelectrics, which have an analogous electric-field switchable electric polarization. After comparing the driving force for ion off-centering that causes the polarization in ferroelectrics with the physics of spin polarization that causes the magnetization of ferromagnets, we analyze the mechanisms of domain formation and resulting domain structures in both material classes. We describe the emerging technologies of ferroelectric and magnetoresistive random access memories, and discuss the behavior of magnetoelecric multiferroics, which combine ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity in the same phase.


Domain Wall Electron Localization Function American Physical Society Ferroelectric Polarization Magnetostatic Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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