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Terahertz magnonics

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  • Full or part time
    Dr R Mikhaylovskiy
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Finding a fundamentally new way for data processing in the fastest and most energy efficient manner is a frontier problem for applied physics and technology. The amount of data generated every second is so enormous that the heat produced by modern data centres has already become a serious limitation to further increase their performance. This heating is a result of the Ohmic dissipation of energy unavoidable in conventional electronics. At present, the data industry lacks a solution for this problem, which in future may contribute greatly to the global warming and energy crisis.
An emerging alternative approach is to employ spin waves (magnons) to realize waveform-based computation, which is free from electronic Joule heating. However, the present realization of this approach, called magnonics, uses electric currents to generate and modulate magnons. In the course of this PhD project we will work towards replacement of the current by light using antiferromagnetic materials, in which spins precess on a picosecond (one trillionth of a second) timescale and strongly couple to electro-magnetic waves [1]. Yet, the antiferromagnetic THz magnons remain practically unexplored.
To excite THz magnons we will use ultrashort strong electro-magnetic fields produced either by table-top ultrafast lasers or by electron bunches at electron-beam facilities of Cockroft Institute. We will push the driven spin dynamics into strongly nonlinear regime required for practical applications such as quantum computation or magnetization switching [2]. We will investigate nonlinear interaction of intense and highly coherent magnons with an eye on reaching regimes of auto-oscillations, nonlinear frequency conversion and complete magnetization reversal.
This interdisciplinary project at the interface between magnetism and photonics offers training in ultrafast optics, THz and magneto-optical spectroscopies as well as in physics of magnetically ordered materials. Also there will be opportunities for travel and experiments using THz free-electron laser facilities such as FELIX (Nijmegen, Netherlands) and TELBE (Dresden, Germany).

The Physics Department is holder of an Athena SWAN Silver award and JUNO Championship status and is strongly committed to fostering diversity within its community as a source of excellence, cultural enrichment, and social strength. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our department.

Interested candidates should contact Dr Rostislav Mikhaylovskiy [Email Address Removed] for further information. For general information about PhD studies in Physics at Lancaster please contact our postgraduate admissions staff at [Email Address Removed]. You can apply directly at stating the title of the project and the name of the supervisor in your application.

Closing Date
Applications will be accepted until the post is filled.

Funding Notes

The PhD starting date is 1 October 2019. Funding is for 3.5 years and is available to citizens of the UK and the European Union.


[1]. K. Grishunin , T. Huisman, G. Li, E. Mishina, Th. Rasing, A. V. Kimel, K. Zhang, Z. Jin, S. Cao, W. Ren , G.-H. Ma and R. V. Mikhaylovskiy. Terahertz magnon-polaritons in TmFeO3. ACS Photonics 5, 1375 (2018).
[2]. S. Baierl, M. Hohenleutner, T. Kampfrath, A. K. Zvezdin, A. V. Kimel, R. Huber, and R. V. Mikhaylovskiy. Nonlinear spin control by terahertz driven anisotropy fields. Nature Photonics 10, 715 (2016).

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