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UPSud I: Photo-induced strain control of magnetic domain wall motion in nanostructures

  • Full or part time
    Dr L Herrera Diez
    Dr G Agnus
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

In this project we will combine mechanical strain and light to control domain wall motion in enhanced multifunctional nanodevices in a most innovative manner. Photo-strictive substrates will be combined with ultra-thin magnetic films by advanced material growth in order to create devices where light pulses of different wavelengths (UV and infrared) will trigger two distinct mechanisms to control magnetism, (I) mechanical strain through a photo-strictive substrate and (II) all optical switching. The ultimate goal will be to understand and optimise these two effects separately and to potentiate the device functionality by exploring the combined effects on magnetic domain wall motion and magnetisation switching.

This unique approach allows for the integration of two very promising routes to low-power and highly efficient spintronics devices, straintronics and all-optical switching. The combination of the two in one single device will have the potential of reaching new efficiency standards in optical control of magnetic processes in spintronics devices and for creating a large impact in terms of the design of multifunctional magnetic devices for applications.

General requirements:

• Be fluent in English
• Have not been a resident or have conducted your main activity (studies, work, etc.) for more than 12 months within the last three years in the PhD position’s host country.
• Be in the first four years of your research career. This is measured from the date you obtained a degree that allows you to enroll in a PhD program.
• Have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree

Specific requirements/skills:


• MSc degree or equivalent in a subject with good bases in one or more of these or related topics: condensed matter physics, nanoscience, material science, nanoelectronics, physical-chemistry.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills, well developed interpersonal communication
• Enthusiastic, self-motivated, willing to learn in a multicultural environment


• Experience in material growth
• Experience in Nano/micro device fabrication

This PhD position will be carried out in the framework of the EU’s Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network MagnEFi which includes 11 partners, both academic (8) and industrial (3), located in France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Spain, England and the Netherlands. We will work together to develop a unique integrative approach to electric-field control of magnetism. Innovative electric-field control schemes based on Strain (S), Gating (G) and Light (L) will be thoroughly investigated and combined to produce a new class of enhanced multifunctional spintronics devices with S+G, S+L and G+L capabilities.

The benefits of this project for you and the future of your career are many fold, here's a few key aspects that MagnEFi can offer you:

• Working on the forefront of one of the most promising topics in spintronics in an international team lead by world recognised EU experts in the field.
• Benefiting from the extensive training program which includes basic and modern aspects of spintronics as well as of other exiting emerging fields such as artificial intelligence but also includes entrepreneurship, scientific writing, communication skills and intellectual property.
• Visiting other partners of the network to learn about their specific techniques and to establish collaborations which will interconnect experimenters and theorists, basic scientists and engineers, and academia and industry.
• Being granted a prestigious EU fellowship with a very competitive salary including mobility and family allowance.
• Establishing a professional network with leading scientists in academia and industry.
• Being prepared for the future after your PhD, training also includes courses on writing competitive job applications for academia and industry, writing high-impact research proposals as well as on preparing job interviews.

Enquiries email name and address:

Liza Herrera Diez ()
Guillaume Agnus ()

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