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Voltage-tuneable magnetoresistive sensors

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Grant Williams
    Dr Simon Granville
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

About This PhD Project

Project Description

In this 3-year PhD project, we seek a student to develop a new magnetoresistive sensor with a dynamically-controllable sensing axis. This project is a key part of a Robinson Research Institute research programme to develop non-destructive testing (NDT) tools for maintaining critical infrastructure including electricity networks and pipelines.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Simon Granville at the Robinson Research Institute [1] of Victoria University of Wellington, in the coolest little capital city in the world – Wellington, New Zealand. They will also be a part of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology [2], a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence made up of a nation-wide network of materials science and nanotechnology researchers.

The project will involve
- Preparing magnetic thin films and multilayer structures using magnetron sputtering, and using clean room lithography to process them into sensor devices such as magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs).
- Basic physical characterisation by magnetic and magnetotransport techniques including SQUID magnetometry, magnetoresistance and magneto-optical measurements.
- Collaborating with the project team to develop voltage control over the sensor’s magnetisation direction.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of early-career networking, training, career development and social events [3], and will have the opportunity to be involved in the wider magnetic materials and devices research at the Robinson Research Institute (collaborators in China, Japan, UK, USA, Australia).

Applicants should have a physics degree equivalent to the 4-year BSc (Honours) degree in New Zealand, with 1st class Honours, or an MSc or postgraduate Diploma with high grades. A background in condensed matter physics, materials science or similar is required, as well as being comfortable working in a team and good communication skills. The ideal candidate will have experience with thin films, magnetic or magnetotransport characterisation, and/or basic clean room lithographic processing. Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Victoria University and ensure that they can satisfy the English language requirements [3].

The scholarship includes an untaxed stipend of NZ$27,000 per annum for 3 years, plus payment of all tuition fees.

Interested applications are invited to send an email titled “Re: Magnetic sensor PhD position” to Dr Simon Granville ([Email Address Removed]) and Prof Grant Williams ([Email Address Removed]). Applicants should include the following:
- A full Curriculum Vitae, including your University Transcripts,
- A statement detailing why you are interested in this project,
- The names of at least two people who are prepared to act as referees,
- Evidence of your English language ability,
- A clear statement about when you would expect to be able to come to NZ.

[1] Robinson Research Institute
[2] MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology

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