Low-temperature ferroelectric phase and magnetoelectric coupling in underdoped La2CuO4+x:

We report the discovery of ferroelectricity below 4.5 K in highly underdoped La2CuO4+x accompanied by slow charge dynamics which develop below T ∼ 40 K. An anisotropic magnetoelectric response has also been observed, indicating considerable spin-charge coupling in this lightly doped parent high-temperature copper-oxide superconductor. The ferroelectric state is proposed to develop from polar nanoregions, in which spatial inversion symmetry is locally broken due to nonstoichiometric carrier doping. Phys. Rev. B 85, 214502, 2012.

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