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

Physics Research
Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
16 February 2018



in the UK for Physics

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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. 

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). 


Primary supervisor: Dr Fasil Dejene

Secondary supervisors: Dr Kelly Morrison/Dr Mike Cropper

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Fasil Dejene or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about postgraduate research in the School of Science please visit our website.

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.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

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.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Department of Physics’. Please quote reference number FD/PH/2018

Application details

Reference number:


Application deadline: 16 February 2018
Start date: 01 October 2018