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Electronic ferroelectricity from charge ordering in RFe$$_{2}$$O$$_{4}$$

Ikeda, Naoshi*; Matsuo, Yoji*; Mori, Shigeo*; Yoshii, Kenji 

We report our recent discovery of novel ferroelectricity arising from the polar ordering of Fe$$^{3+}$$ and Fe$$^{2+}$$ in a mixed valence triangular lattice oxide LuFe$$_{2}$$O$$_{4}$$, where the electric polarization is not a result of ionic displacement. The polar ordering of Fe$$^{3+}$$ and Fe$$^{2+}$$ was confirmed with a resonant X-ray scattering study in SPring-8. The origin of such ordering is the competitive interaction between Fe$$^{3+}$$ and Fe$$^{2+}$$ in the triangular lattice, i.e., the charge frustration. The polar superlattice of Fe$$^{3+}$$ and Fe$$^{2+}$$ develops below 350 K, where the electric polarization appears. The ferroelectricity arising from the polar charge ordering or the polar electron distribution may have great potential for the future application of ferroelectrics.

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