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Manipulating magnetic anisotropy with superconductivity

Department of Physics

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Dr N Banerjee No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Application details:
Reference number: NB/PH/2020
Start date of studentship: 1 January 2021
Closing date of advert: 3 September 2020

Primary supervisor: Dr Niladri Banerjee
Secondary supervisor: Dr Fasil Dejene

This project involves advanced thin film deposition, nano fabrication and low-temperature characterisation to demonstrate reorientation of the magnetic moment of a thin film magnet purely driven by superconductivity and without applying a magnetic field. Demonstrating this will open pathways to design the next generation of cryogenic magnetic memories.

Full Project Detail
Recent experiments have identified a unique form of superconductivity formed of equal-spin Cooper pairs instead of the conventional anti-parallel spin pairing [1]. This superconductivity arises at superconductor/ferromagnet thin film heterostructures with complex magnetic textures. In 2018, we discovered that superconductor/ferromagnet heterostructures with spin-orbit coupling can generate this unconventional superconductivity eliminating the need for complex magnetic textures [1]. In addition to this simplification, novel effects are predicted in these heterostructures arising due to the spin-orbit coupling.

In this project, the student will explore one such effect which we theoretically predicted recently: modifying the magnetic anisotropy and thereby reorienting a magnetic moment purely driven by superconductivity without applying an external magnetic field - a framework to design future cryogenic magnetic memories. The student will have the opportunity to consolidate our existing collaborations with University of Cambridge.

The project will involve thin film deposition, low-temperature electronic and magnetic measurements together with structural characterisation like x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. The student will also fabricate nanoscale devices at Loughborough.

The student will be working in a diverse group of PhDs, postdocs and research assistants and will be associated with the Centre for the Science of Materials, Loughborough.

[1] N. Banerjee, Physics World, Volume 32, Number 4, 2019.

Loughborough University
Loughborough University has a flexible working and maternity/parental leave policy ( and is a Stonewall Diversity Champion. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and The School of Science which includes the Department of Physics, is a recipient of the Athena SWAN bronze award for gender equality.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). You will work alongside academics who are leaders in their field and benefit from the comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including future careers advice.

Find out more:

Entry requirements
Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Physics or Materials Engineering. An experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: thin film deposition, materials characterisation and low-temperature measurements.

Contact details
Name: Dr Niladri Banerjee
Email address: [Email Address Removed]
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222596

How to apply
All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Physics.

Please quote reference number: NB/PH/2020.

Funding Notes

The studentship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who satisfy the entry requirements as set out in the advertisement. The 3-year studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 (2020/21 rate) per annum (in line with the standard research council rates) for the duration of the studentship, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. This studentship is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees.


[1] N. Banerjee, Physics World, Volume 32, Number 4, 2019.

[2] N. Banerjee et al. Phys. Rev. B. 97, 184521, 2018.

[3] L. G. Johnsen et al., Phys. Rev. B. 99, 134516, 2019.
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