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Magnetic Materials



Ultrafast laser

Ultra high







femtosecond laser Magnetic materials provide one of the most exciting and fast moving areas of physics research today. Recent advances in the fabrication of nanostructures allow us to fabricate magnetic materials with properties that challenge our basic understanding of magnetism. These materials may exhibit strongly modified magnetic moments and anisotropy. Alternatively they may possess completely new properties such as interlayer exchange coupling and giant magnetoresistance. Furthermore these materials have found immediate application in the latest generation of magnetic recording technology, as the transducers that read and write data and as the storage medium itself.

group photo The Magnetic Materials group was founded in 1996 since when it has grown rapidly. Our aim is to understand the basic science of nanoscale magnetic materials. However we also maintain a dialogue with scientists and engineers in the recording industry and consider their needs when choosing new areas of investigation. We are interested in dynamic magnetic phenomena occuring on femtosecond to calendar timescales. These include picosecond switching of the macroscopic magnetisation of ferromagnetic elements, spin wave excitations in ferromagnets and the spin dynamics of individual conduction electrons. We have a general interest in magnetotransport properties and are actively fabricating and characterising magnetic tunnel junction and spin valve structures. We are also studying reversal and magnetic viscosity in such structures in order to understand the structural origins of such effects. Finally we make use of synchrotron radiation, at the ESRF in Grenoble and Daresbury, and are developing in-house X-ray facilities for supporting structural studies.


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