Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Sarath Witanachchi, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Pritish Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Committee Member

George Nolas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Hariharan Srikanth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Manh-Huong Phan, Ph.D.


Ferroelectrics, Ferromagnetics, PLD, Heterostructures, La doped PZT, CFO, LSMO, Epitaxial Thin films


With recent trends in miniaturization in the electronics sector, ferroelectrics have gained popularity due to their applications in non-volatile RAM. Taking one step further researchers are now exploring multiferroic devices that overcome the drawbacks of ferroelectric (FE) and ferromagnetic (FM) RAM’s while retaining the advantages of both. The work presented in this dissertation focuses on the growth of FE and FM thin film structures. The primary goals of this work include, (1) optimization of the parameters in the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of FE and FM films and their heterostructures, (2) development of a structure-property relation that leads to enhancements in electric and magnetic polarizations of these structures, (3) investigation of doping on further enhancement of polarizations and coupling between the FE and FM layers. The materials of choice are La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 (LSMO) as the ferromagnetic and PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 (PZT) as the ferroelectric component. Epitaxial thin film capacitors were grown using PLD. The work starts with the establishment of the optimum deposition conditions for PZT and goes on to describe results of attempts at performance enhancement and tuning using two methods. It is demonstrated that ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties can be tuned by inserting a ferromagnetic buffer layer of CoFe2O4 (CFO) between PZT and LSMO. One of the key findings of this work was the anomalously high ferroelectric polarizations produced by lanthanum (La) doped PZT films. This work attempts to shine light on a possible mechanism that leads to such high enhancements in polarization.