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We seek a Post-Doctoral Research Associate to work under the direction of Dr. G. Vallejo Fernandez (Physics) and Prof. A. Hirohata (Electronic Engineering) on an EPSRC funded projected entitled ‘Anisotropy in Antiferromagnets’. The main objective of the project is the investigation of the origin of the anisotropy in antiferromagnetic materials via a combination of experimental measurements and ab-initio modelling. This position will focus on the experimental aspects of the project including thin film deposition by sputtering and magnetic/structural characterisation of the grown films. Funding for this appointment is available for 24 months with the possibility of a further 24 months extension.
Spintronics or spin electronics is an emerging field of applied physics which studies the intrinsic spin of an electron and its associated magnetic moment. Until recently, most studies were based on ferromagnetic materials. In 2014 it was announced that significant spintronic phenomena occurred in metallic antiferromagnetic (AF) materials. These phenomena are an unexpected spin-Hall effect and, critically, the ability to manipulate the orientation of the AF axes using a spin polarised current pulse. This latter phenomenon is of critical importance as it has been shown that an AF material can relax 1000 times faster than a typical ferromagnetic device. Hence, in principle, an AF based storage or switching device would be capable of being many times faster than a conventional Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) device. Such system would require significantly lower power and, importantly, any resulting orientation would not be subject to the normal demagnetising field effect that limits the performance of a device based on a ferromagnet. For both potential storage and switching applications, the anisotropy of AF materials will be a critical parameter whose origin(s) are not yet understood. The technique to measure the anisotropy is based on the exchange bias effect and was developed by our group.
Interview date: 16th July 2021
For informal enquiries: please contact Dr. Gonzalo Vallejo Fernandez (email@example.com) or firstname.lastname@example.org
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