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β phase and γ-β metal-insulator transition in multiferroic BiFeO3

Palai, R.; Katiyar, R.S.; Schmid, H.; Tissot, P.; Clark, S.J.; Robertson, J.; Redfern, S.A.T.; Catalan, G.; Scott, J.F.

β phase and γ-β metal-insulator transition in multiferroic BiFeO3 Thumbnail


R. Palai

R.S. Katiyar

H. Schmid

P. Tissot

J. Robertson

S.A.T. Redfern

G. Catalan

J.F. Scott


We report on extensive experimental studies on thin film, single crystal, and ceramics of multiferroic bismuth ferrite BiFeO3 using differential thermal analysis, high-temperature polarized light microscopy, high-temperature and polarized Raman spectroscopy, high-temperature x-ray diffraction, dc conductivity, optical absorption and reflectivity, and domain imaging, and show that epitaxial (001) thin films of BiFeO3 are clearly monoclinic at room temperature, in agreement with recent synchrotron studies but in disagreement with all other earlier reported results. We report an orthorhombic order-disorder β phase between 820 and 925 (±5) °C, and establish the existence range of the cubic γ phase between 925 (±5) and 933 (±5) °C, contrary to all recent reports. We also report the refined Bi2O3-Fe2O3 phase diagram. The phase transition sequence rhombohedral-orthorhombic-cubic in bulk [monoclinic-orthorhombic-cubic in (001)BiFeO3 thin film] differs distinctly from that of BaTiO3. The transition to the cubic γ phase causes an abrupt collapse of the band gap toward zero (insulator-metal transition) at the orthorhombic-cubic β-γ transition around 930 °C. Our band structure models, high-temperature dc resistivity, and light absorption and reflectivity measurements are consistent with this metal-insulator transition.


Palai, R., Katiyar, R., Schmid, H., Tissot, P., Clark, S., Robertson, J., …Scott, J. (2008). β phase and γ-β metal-insulator transition in multiferroic BiFeO3. Physical review B, 77(1), Article 014110.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2008
Deposit Date Jan 31, 2012
Publicly Available Date Nov 27, 2012
Journal Physical Review B
Print ISSN 1098-0121
Electronic ISSN 1550-235X
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 77
Issue 1
Article Number 014110


Published Journal Article (972 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2008 The American Physical Society

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