Statistical distribution of the electric field-driven switching of the Verwey state in Fe3O4
The insulating state of magnetite (Fe3O4) can be disrupted by a sufficiently large dc electric field. Pulsed measurements are used to examine the kinetics of this transition. Histograms of the switching voltage show a transition width that broadens as the temperature is decreased, consistent with trends seen in other systems involving “unpinning” in the presence of disorder. The switching distributions are also modified by an external magnetic field on a scale comparable to that required to reorient the magnetization.