((R)-(-)-3-Hydroxyquinuclidium)[FeCl4]; a plastic hybrid compound with chirality, ferroelectricity and long range magnetic ordering
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Quinuclidinium salts and their derivatives are now in the focus of materials science as building units of multifunctional materials. Their properties can be easily switchable, allowing their use in a wide range of physical applications. One type of these kinds of materials, the homochiral hybrid halometallate ferroelectric compounds, is not well understood. In this work, (R)-(-)-3-quinuclidinol hydrochloride was used in the synthesis of ((R)-(-)-3-hydroxyquinuclidium)[FeCl4]. The use of this enantiomeric cation forces crystallographic non-centrosymmetry, which was confirmed by polarimetry and circular dichroism spectroscopy. We studied the physical properties of this compound at different temperatures by single crystal, synchrotron and neutron powder X-ray diffraction, which showed a rich series of structural and magnetic phase transitions. From synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction data, a plastic phase was observed above 370 K (phase I). Between 370 K and ca. 310 K, an intermediate polar phase was detected, solved in a non-centrosymmetric polar space group (C2) (phase II). Below ca. 310 K, the compound crystallizes in the triclinic P1 non-centrosymmetric space group (phase III) which is maintained down to 4 K, followed by phase IV, which shows tridimensional magnetic ordering. The temperature evolution of the neutron diffraction data shows the appearance of new reflections below 4 K. These reflections can be indexed to a commensurate propagation vector k = (0, 0, ½). The magnetic structure below TN was solved in the Ps1 Shubnikov space group, which gives rise to an antiferromagnetic structure, compatible with the magnetometry measurements. Near room temperature, the crystal phase transition is associated with a dielectric change. In particular, the phase transition between phase III (S.G.:P1) and phase II (S.G.:C2) involves an increase of symmetry between two non-centrosymmetric space groups. Therefore, it allows, by symmetry, the emergence of ferroelectric and ferroelastic ordering. Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) imaging measurements provided evidence for polarization switching and a local ferroelectric behavior of phase III at room temperature. Additionally, the obtained butterfly curve and hysteresis loop by PFM exhibits a low coercive voltage of ~10 V. This value is remarkable, since it approaches those obtained for materials with application in ferroelectric random access memories (FeRAMs).
CitationGonzález-Izquiero, P. [et al.]. ((R)-(-)-3-Hydroxyquinuclidium)[FeCl4]; a plastic hybrid compound with chirality, ferroelectricity and long range magnetic ordering. "Journal of materials chemistry C", 16 Febrer 2021,
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