Direct Determination of Atomic Structure and Magnetic Coupling of Magnetite Twin Boundaries

Chunrin Chien, Hongping Li, Takehito Seki, Deqiang Yin, Gabriel Sanchez-Santolino, Kazutoshi Inoue, Naoya Shibata, Yuichi Ikuhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Clarifying how the atomic structure of interfaces/boundaries in materials affects the magnetic coupling nature across them is of significant academic value and will facilitate the development of state-of-the-art magnetic devices. Here, by combining atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy, atomistic spin-polarized first-principles calculations, and differential phase contrast imaging, we conduct a systematic investigation of the atomic and electronic structures of individual Fe3O4 twin boundaries (TBs) and determine their concomitant magnetic couplings. We demonstrate that the magnetic coupling across the Fe3O4 TBs can be either antiferromagnetic or ferromagnetic, which directly depends on the TB atomic core structures and resultant electronic structures within a few atomic layers. Revealing the one-to-one correspondence between local atomic structures and magnetic properties of individual grain boundaries will shed light on in-depth understanding of many interesting magnetic behaviors of widely used polycrystalline magnetic materials, which will surely promote the development of advanced magnetic materials and devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2662-2668
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 27
Externally publishedYes


  • differential phase contrast
  • first-principles calculations
  • grain boundary
  • magnetic coupling
  • transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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