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Antiferromagnetic Spintronics: Understanding the strain

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 03, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Ferromagnetic materials have underpinned data storage technology for decades. This is not just for the data storage but also for ‘spintronic’ components such as magneto-resistive field sensors and magnetic tunnel junctions. With the desire to increase the speed of devices and pack components more densely, researchers are now turning to anti-ferromagnetic materials. Externally, these materials look non-magnetic, but on the atomic level they consist of exactly cancelling opposing magnetic moments. For a long time they have been overlooked due to the difficulties in controlling the internal order (they do not couple strongly to magnetic fields) but recent discoveries in spin-orbit torques show that electrical manipulation and readout is possible [Science, 351, 587 (2016)], paving the way to antiferromagnetic spintronics [IEEE Trans. Mag.,51, 5 (2015), Nat. Nanotechnol., 11, 231 (2016), Nat. Phys., 14, 200 (2018)]. Even though this is a recently created field, it is rapidly evolving, and proof of concept desktop memory devices have already been demonstrated [Nat. Commun., 8, 15434 (2017)].

This project is available as one of five PhD studentships with the Bragg Centre to tackle fundamental and applied problems to create new and improve existing materials. These will address fundamental and applied problems across design, characterisation, fabrication and modelling. The Centre comprises around 150 members from over ten Schools and has had continued investment in excellent facilities and infrastructure, including a new building opening in 2020, to ensure that our staff and students benefit from state-of-the-art, high quality equipment and laboratories. We are a founding partner of the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s Institute for Advanced Materials.

Funding Notes

Funding is available from the Bragg Centre for Materials Research for 3.5 years and covers the cost of academic fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,500 per year for 2019/20) and provides a stipend at EPSRC rates (currently £15,009 per year for 2019/20).

How good is research at University of Leeds in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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