Observation of persistent centrosymmetricity in the hexagonal manganite family

Yu Kumagai, Alexei A. Belik, Martin Lilienblum, Naëmi Leo, Manfred Fiebig, Nicola A. Spaldin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The controversy regarding the ferroelectric behavior of hexagonal InMnO 3 is resolved by using a combination of x-ray diffraction (XRD), piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), second harmonic generation (SHG), and density functional theory (DFT). While XRD data show a symmetry-lowering unit-cell tripling, which is also found in the multiferroic hexagonal manganites of P6 3cm symmetry, PFM and SHG do not detect ferroelectricity at ambient or low temperature, in striking contrast to the behavior in the multiferroic counterparts. We propose instead a centrosymmetric P3̄c phase as the ground-state structure. Our DFT calculations reveal that the relative energy of the ferroelectric and nonferroelectric structures is determined by a competition between electrostatics and oxygen-rare-earth covalency, with an absence of covalency favoring the ferroelectric phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174422
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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