N-doped oxides and/or oxinitrides constitute a booming class of compounds with a broad spectrum of useable properties and in particular for novel technologies of carbon-free energy production and multifunctional sensors. In this research field the search for new materials is particularly desirable because of unsatisfactory properties of current materials. The insertion of nitrogen in the crystal lattice of an oxide semiconductor allows in principle to modulate its electronic structure and transport properties enabling new functionalities. The production of corresponding single crystalline thin films is highly challenging. In this thesis work, single crystalline oxynitride heterostructures will be grown by atomic plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. The heterostructure will combine two N doped layers: a N doped BaTiO3 will provide ferroelectricity and a heavily doped ferrimagnetic ferrite whose magnetic properties can be modulated using N doping to obtain new artificial multiferroic materials better suited to applications. The resulting structures will be investigated with respect to their ferroelectric and magnetic characteristics as well as their magnetoelectric coupling, as a function of the N doping. These observations will be correlated with a detailed understanding of crystalline and electronic structures.
The student will acquire skills in ultra-high vacuum techniques, molecular beam epitaxy, ferroelectric and magnetic characterizations as well as in state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation techniques.