Morphology and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction


Contact Dr Thomas Moore to discuss this project further informally

Project description

The interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction generates a chiral twist in magnetic moments at the interface of a ferromagnet such as Co and a heavy element such as Pt with large spin-orbit coupling.  This leads to magnetic domain walls of uniform chirality, and topologically stable magnetic domains known as skyrmions.  Such chiral magnetic objects have potential applications in magnetic memory and sensor technology.  It is known from theory that different ferromagnet-large spin-orbit material combinations, e.g. Co/Pt, Fe/Ir, generate different magnitudes and signs of DMI, but in device-ready materials the interfaces are difficult to control and different measurement techniques yield different results.  Indications are that the morphology of the interface significantly affects the DMI.

This project will utilise the unique aberration-corrected low-energy electron microscope at Chongqing University to examine the morphology of ultrathin Co films grown on Pt under different conditions.  Magnetic characterisation, including measurement of DMI, will be performed at the University of Leeds.  This is a joint project between the Universities of Leeds and Chongqing.  We are looking for a motivated student with a background in condensed matter physics, materials science or similar, preferably with experience in magnetism or thin film properties.  The Condensed Matter group at the University of Leeds is one of the U.K.’s leading research groups in nanomagnetism and spintronics.  It possesses an extensive suite of facilities for materials growth, nanoscale fabrication and sample characterisation.  The Ultrafast Surface dynamics group at the Chongqing University is one of the leading groups in surface science in China. It possesses in-situ high resolution electron microscope including LEEM/PEEM/STM facilities for surfaces/interface research.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting, a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) in a relevant discipline, a Master's degree in a relevant discipline, or both.

Additional staff contact

Wen-Xin Tang (Chongqing), Christopher Marrows

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'Morphology and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction at the Co/Pt interface' as well as Dr Thomas Moore as your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates.  All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.