PhD Studentship Quantum materials for efficient spintronic, thermoelectric and spin caloritronic device applications

Loughborough University

Application details:

Reference number: FD/PH/2018
Start date of studentship: 1st October 2018         
Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018


Primary supervisor: Dr Fasil Dejene
Secondary supervisors: Dr Kelly Morrison/Dr Mike Cropper

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Full Project Detail:

Spin-transfer torque magnetic RAM (STT-MRAM), which utilises spin-polarized charge current to read magnetic information, has grown into a multibillion-dollar technology. The single access to both read and write operations remains one of the limitations. Spin-orbitronic MRAM devices in a magnetic/non-magnetic bilayers promise a more efficient spintronic device architecture. It utilises the spin-orbit coupling that exists in heavy materials (such as Pt, W, and Ta) with modest charge-spin conversion efficiency (20 percent). One of the main criteria is to have materials with large spin Hall angle (SHA) for deterministic field-free magnetic switching at very low current densities.

A new direction is to exploit topological (quantum) materials, which have inherently large spin-orbit coupling along with exotic quantum properties. These quantum properties span from non-trivial insulating to superconducting states as well as from paramagnetic to magnetic properties. Systematic interfacing of these quantum materials with metallic or insulating magnetic systems could potentially lead to a more efficient and tunable spin-orbitronic device. The PhD student will experimentally investigate spin-charge conversion in these technologically relevant materials interfaced with a magnetic layer. Due to the topological surface states and bulk conduction, these materials will have larger spin-charge conversion efficiency than conventional metals.

The PhD student will participate in the nanofabrication of topological spintronic devices as well as their characterisation (low temperature electrical, thermal and spin transport measurements) and numerical modelling of the results.

The project will be performed in collaboration with University College London (UK) and the Max Planck institute for microstructure physics (Germany).

Find out more:

Further project information:  Dr. Fasil K. Dejene,

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have or expect to have, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) or Master’s degree in physics, materials science or other closely related fields. Candidates should be highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment. Experience in two-dimensional materials, spintronics, magnetotransport, thin film deposition is desirable, and previous nanodevice fabrication is advantageous but not compulsory.

Funding information:

This studentship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or any of the advertised projects prioritised for funding by the School of Science.

The 3-year studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £14,553 (2017 rate) per annum (in line with the standard research council rates) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.  International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Contact details:

Name:  Dr Fasil K. Dejene

How to apply:

Applications should be made online at  Under programme name, select ‘Physics.’  

Please quote reference:  FD/PH/2018  

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Midlands of England