Recent experimental and theoretical studies of the magnetoelectric ME effect in the nanocomposite structures and in laminates show an enhanced ME coefficient. These materials combine piezoelectric properties of the paramagnetic phase and piezomagnetic properties of the magnetic phase. We propose to fabricate heterostructures formed by piezoelectric materials and magnetic antiperovskites as magnetoelectric materials. We show that the magnetic structure of antiperovskite, such as Mn3GaN, can be controlled by a small applied biaxial strain. The lowering of symmetry with the strain causes the local magnetic moments of Mn atoms to rotate from the trigonal 5g structure with symmetric curl of spin density in the 111 plane to a monoclinic symmetry structure. As a result, an appreciable net magnetization appears in the strained system.
Lukashev, Pavel; Sabirianov, Renat F.; and Belashchenko, Kirill, "Theory of the Piezomagnetic Effect in Mn-Based Antiperovskites" (2008). Physics Faculty Publications. 36.