- Value: This project is open to self-funded students and is eligible for funding from the Henry Ellison Scholarship, Leeds Doctoral Scholarships and EPSRC scholarships. All successful UK/EU and international applicants will be considered for funding, in an open competition across the School of Physics and Astronomy.
- Number of awards: 1
- Deadline: Applications accepted all year round
Contact Professor Christopher Marrows to discuss this project further informally
In this project we will study magnetic skyrmions, nanoscale swirls of spins that possess a special topology. They appear in properly designed magnetic multilayers at room temperature and are candidates for next-generation data storage technology. It is now over a decade since the carbon footprint of the internet grew larger than that of commercial air travel, much of this energy is used to physically spin hard disks, write data to them, and write and refresh volatile memory. To drive skyrmions along a crystal using spin torque requires several orders of magnitude less current density then driving magnetic domains under ideal conditions, but this is not seen in practice in these systems so far. Magnetic skyrmions offer the prospect of vastly reducing the energy needed to write and store digital data if their properties can be controlled.
In Leeds we have a rich programme of research on skyrmions carried out with several leading European laboratories in France, Germany and Switzerland. Potential topics for PhD study include studying the thermal stability of skyrmions in order to establish their reliability as a store of digital data (arXiv:1706.01065 [cond-mat.mes-hall]), studying their transport properties as a means of electrically detecting them (arXiv:1706.06024 [physics.app-ph]), and the mobility of skyrmions at room temperature under the influence of the torques exerted by spin-polarised currents.
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.
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 'Magnetic skyrmions in chiral multilayers' as well as Professor Christopher Marrows 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.