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Correlations between magnetism and spin-orbit transport physics in novel spintronic multi-layers

Project Description

Spintronics is a rapidly growing research field where scientists explore new science and technologies of using electron spins in solid state devices. One of the main challenges in spintronics research is to develop an efficient link between magnetic elements and conventional electronic circuits. For this switching of a magnetic memory-element by an electric current is necessary. A recent approach to realise electric switching is based on magnetic torques using spin-orbit interaction, the spin-orbit-torques. They arise from the coupling of the orbital motion and spin angular momentum of each electron. At the same time there are a range of novel materials whose electronic properties are particularly interesting for spin-orbit-torque physics. Topological insulators for instance have spin-momentum locking in their surface states. A clear understanding of the spin-orbit properties of each material as well as spin transport across the multi-layers of them will lead to a novel magnetic switching technology for memory applications such as MRAM.
This project will investigate spin-orbit-torque physics in advanced materials by combining a range of complementary techniques, focusing particularly on neutron scattering at the ISIS neutron source in combination with spin-dynamics transport measurements at LCN. The aim is to correlate the interface structure and magnetism with the spin-orbit-torque efficiency and spin-current transport across the layers.
This is a joint studentship between Dr. Kurebayashi’s research group at the LCN ( and Dr. Nina-Juliane Steinke at the ISIS neutron and muon source just south of Oxford. The student will be expected to spent part of their research at both institutions. ISIS neutron and muon source is a large scale, interdisciplinary facility with over 3000 international, scientific visitors each year and a suite of state-of-the-art neutron instruments where magnetism can be studied on the nanoscale. In addition, the student will have the opportunity to work closely with our national and international collaborators and conduct experiments at other international facilities.
We are seeking applications from highly talented and motivated students in the fields of physics and nanotechnology. Students with UK and EU nationality are only eligible to this studentship, which will provide fees, maintenance and an additional travel/consumables budget. Please contact us for further information or to apply via email.
Dr Hidekazu Kurebayashi:
Dr Nina-Juliane Steinke:

Funding Notes

This studentship is only applicable to UK and EU students.

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