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Ultrafast spintronics with synthetic antiferromagnets


   Department of Computer Science

   Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Spintronics where both an electron's charge and spin provide device functionality is an exciting and developing area of research. At the heart of spintronic devices are nanoscale, magnetically ordered thin films which are used to manipulate and control electron spin. First generation spintronic devices have been in commercial products for a number of years, mostly notability as the sense element in hard disk drive read heads. This first application demonstrated the value of spintronics as a viable technology. More recently, there has been upsurge in activities as it was realized that the potential usefulness of spintronics extends to many areas including high frequency (GHz -> THz) emitters and detectors, data storage and specialist computational tasks [1]. Indeed, high density, solid-state magnetic data storage has very recently (2019) become commercially available [2]. 

In order to further explore the potential of spintronics and provide the scientific understanding for future devices, significant new research is needed. In particular, this project will focus on the high frequency dynamics of spintronic magnetic thin films and devices, which we characterize using ferromagnetic resonance. We have already succeeded in demonstrating high frequencies from a synthetic antiferromagnetic system [3] which will provide a solid platform for this project. To move beyond this initial work, the potential of materials with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) will be investigated. For example, there are classes of magnetic thin film alloys (so-called L10 alloys) which possess the very high PMA needed to generate high frequencies. 

In this project, the aim is to develop the understanding necessary to create high frequency spintronic devices using the emerging ideas for new atomically engineered magnetic materials. This is an experimental project involving depositing and characterization of atomically layered magnetic films, creating devices using lithography and measuring them using ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) and advanced electrical measurements (e.g. non-local geometry) to understand their high frequency properties. The project will use the state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities for magnetism and nanodevice research in Manchester where we have a wide range of nanoscale magnetism activities. There will also be excellent opportunities to interact with our existing collaborators in laboratories across Europe and Japan.


Funding Notes

Candidates who have been offered a place for PhD study in the Department of Computer Science may be considered for funding by the Department. Further details on funding can be found at: View Website.

References

Dieny et al. Nature Electronics 3 (2020) 446
Lee et al. IEEE Symposium on VLSI Technology (2018) 181-182
Waring et al. Phys. Rev. Appl. 13 (2020) 034035
NEST group website (https://nest.cs.manchester.ac.uk/)

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