Three-dimensional interconnected magnetic nanocircuits

When we pattern magnetic materials on the nanoscale, it is possible to control – and indeed, dramatically change – their properties via geometrical effects. This is particularly promising when it comes to three-dimensional magnetic nanostructures, which are predicted to exhibit exotic properties ranging from curvature-induced magnetochirality to ultra-high domain wall velocities [1, 2, 3]. 

New advances in 3D nanofabrication make the realisation of complex 3D architectures possible, from nanowire lattices (above) to Mobius strips, curved surfaces, and domain wall conduits (below). Reproduced from [6].

With increasing complexity comes increasingly rich physics and functionality. Strongly coupled interconnected systems have been proposed to exhibit highly degenerate energy landscapes [4], as well as forming the basis of future low-power IT technologies such as neuromorphic computing [5]. When combined with the exotic properties of 3D nanomagnetism, significant opportunities arise for both fundamental physics and new concepts for devices.

In this PhD project you will study interconnected 3D magnetic nanostructures, with strong inter-structure coupling, to push forward our understanding of these exotic systems. In particular, by tailoring the three-dimensional geometry - specifically through the introduction of chirality and the balance of competing magnetic interactions - we will gain insight into the rich physics and higher functionalities and control that become available.

State-of-the-art 3D nanofabrication techniques for nanoscale magnetic structures [6], in combination with advanced magnetic nanomicroscopy [7, 8] will be harnessed to probe the behaviour of highly coupled 3D interconnected magnetic nanostructures. By probing the field- and current-induced response of magnetic textures such as domain walls, we will elucidate the influence of their internal structure and topology on their dynamic properties, opening the door to future physical and technological insights.


[1] A. Fernández-Pacheco, R. Streubel, O. Fruchart, R. Hertel, P. Fischer, and R.P. Cowburn
Three-dimensional nanomagnetism
Nature Communications 8, 15756 (2017)
[2] R. Streubel, P. Fischer, F. Kronast, V.P. Kravchuk, D.D. Sheka, Y. Gaididei, O.G. Schmidt and D. Makarov
Magnetism in curved geometries
J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 49, 363001 (2016)
[3] C. Donnelly and V. Scagnoli
Imaging three-dimensional magnetic systems with x-rays
J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 32, 21 (2020)
[4] S.H. Skjærvø, C.H. Marrows, R.L. Stamps, and L.J. Heyderman
Advances in artificial spin ice
Nat. Rev. Phys. 2, 13–28 (2020)
[5] B. Dieny, I.L. Prejbeanu, K. Garello, P. Gambardella, P. Freitas, R. Lehndorff, W. Raberg, U. Ebels, S.O. Demokritov, J. Akerman, A. Deac, P. Pirro, C. Adelmann, A. Anane, A.V. Chumak, A. Hirohata, S. Mangin, S.O. Valenzuela, M. Cengiz Onbaşlı, M. d’Aquino, G. Prenat, G. Finocchio, L. Lopez-Diaz, R. Chantrell, O. Chubykalo-Fesenko, and P. Bortolotti
Opportunities and challenges for spintronics in the microelectronics industry
Nat. Electron. 3, 446–459 (2020)
[6] L. Skoric, D. Sanz-Hernández, F. Meng, C. Donnelly, S. Merino-Aceituno, and A. Fernández-Pacheco
Layer-by-Layer Growth of Complex-Shaped Three-Dimensional Nanostructures with Focused Electron Beams
Nano Lett. 20, 184–191 (2020)
[7] C. Donnelly, M. Guizar-Sicairos, V. Scagnoli, S. Gliga, M. Holler, J. Raabe, and L.J. Heyderman
Three-dimensional magnetization structures revealed with X-ray vector nanotomography
Nature 547, 328–331(2017)
[8] C. Donnelly, S. Finizio, S. Gliga, M. Holler, A. Hrabec, M. Odstrčil, S. Mayr, V. Scagnoli, L.J. Heyderman, M. Guizar-Sicairos, and J. Raabe
Time-resolved imaging of three-dimensional nanoscale magnetization dynamics
Nature Nanotechnology 15, 356–360 (2020)

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