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Terahertz switching of magnetization

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Lancaster University ERC project, MAGSHAKE: Terahertz electric field control of magnetism, is pleased to offer a PhD studentship available for admission in October 2020. Applicants should have a Master’s degree in Physics before the programme starts.

MAGSHAKE aims to achieve the ultrafast and least dissipative switching of magnetization using terahertz (THz) photons with energies comparable with the magnetic intrinsic energy scale (meV). We will explore the manipulation of spins by a THz electric field, which can modulate the spin-orbit and exchange interactions, which are responsible for magnetic ordering. These interactions are orders of magnitude stronger than the Zeeman energy due to an applied magnetic field. Therefore, the THz electric ‘shaking’ of the spins is expected to be strong enough to induce switching of the spins’ orientations, representing an elementary act of writing a bit of information. Our research programme aims to investigate the fundamentals of the electric field-driven nonlinear spin dynamics and to explore the basic requirements for the fastest and most energy-efficient spin switching in broad classes of magnetic materials.

This 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. 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 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. The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Please contact Dr Rostislav Mikhaylovskiy () for any additional enquiries. You can also apply directly at stating the title of the project and the name of the supervisor.

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

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded for UK/EU/Overseas students for 3.5 years.


[1]. 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).
[2] S. Schlauderer, C. Lange, S. Baierl, T. Ebnet, C. P. Schmid, D. C. Valovcin, A. K. Zvezdin, A. V. Kimel, R. V. Mikhaylovskiy and R. Huber. Temporal and spectral fingerprints of ultrafast all-coherent spin switching. Nature 569, 383 (2019).

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