Nature Communications

Giant voltage-induced modification of magnetism in micron-scale ferromagnetic metals by hydrogen charging

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Owing to electric-field screening, the modification of magnetic properties in ferromagnetic metals by applying small voltages is restricted to a few atomic layers at the surface of metals. Bulk metallic systems usually do not exhibit any magneto-electric effect. Here, we report that the magnetic properties of micron-scale ferromagnetic metals can be modulated substantially through electrochemically-controlled insertion and extraction of hydrogen atoms in metal structure. By applying voltages of only ~ 1 V, we show that the coercivity of micrometer-sized SmCo5, as a bulk model material, can be reversibly adjusted by ~ 1 T, two orders of magnitudes larger than previously reported. Moreover, voltage-assisted magnetization reversal is demonstrated at room temperature. Our study opens up a way to control the magnetic properties in ferromagnetic metals beyond the electric-field screening length, paving its way towards practical use in magneto-electric actuation and voltage-assisted magnetic storage.