Antiferromagnetic Magnonics: Ultrafast, Ultrasmall, Ultrasmart - Physics - EPSRC DTP funded PhD Studentship Ref: 2881

About the award

This project is one of a number funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership to commence in September 2018. This project is in direct competition with others for funding; the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding.

The studentships will provide funding for a stipend which is currently £14,553 per annum for 2017-2018. It will provide research costs and UK/EU tuition fees at Research Council UK rates for 42 months (3.5 years) for full-time students, pro rata for part-time students.

Please note that of the total number of projects within the competition, up to 15 studentships will be filled.

Prof. Volodymyr Kruglyak
Prof Misha Portnoi

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Project Description

Energy efficiency within technology is a key challenge in achieving a greener world and is a major factor in determining its performance and market attractiveness. The memory phenomenon inherent to magnetism promises huge energy savings in non-volatile devices, underpinning the rapid growth of research in spintronics, which uses spin degree of freedom for data and signal processing and thereby avoids ubiquitous Joule losses associated with charge currents. Further increase of energy efficiency may be achieved in magnonic devices, which exploit wave rather than translational motion of spins – spin waves, the quanta of which “magnons” give name to the field of magnonics. Yet, the progress in spin-wave exploitation has been hampered by magnetic damping dilemma: the high frequency energy dissipation is high in ferromagnetic metals (preferred for construction of nanodevices), while low-damping magnetic insulators are difficult to structure and have mostly been used for long spin wave propagation.

In this fully-funded PhD studentship project, you will theoretically explore exciting alternative opportunities associated with the use antiferromagnetic insulators to control spin waves and perform magnonic logic functions.  Antiferromagnets are magnetically ordered materials that do not have a net magnetic moment.  They can be manipulated at ultrafast speeds and have an extremely rich microscopic structure.  You will begin by studying the spin wave dispersion in simplest antiferromagnets, then proceeding to more general multisublattice magnets, including those with a noncollinear static configuration.  At the next stage, you will investigate antiferromagnetic devices consisting of multiple species of antiferromagnets and will explore their control using external magnetic and electric fields.  The project will benefit from Exeter’s international links established within Horizon 2020 MagIC project, while successful predictions of the theory will be verified at the UK ultrafast magnetism facility, due to be set up in Exeter by the beginning of the studentship project with help of EPSRC funding.  

To succeed in this project, you need to have a strong aptitude to theoretical physics and excellent mathematical foundations.  Previous experience in magnetism and / or of numerical simulations is desirable.

Entry Requirements
You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Physics. Experience in magnonics is desirable.

The majority of the studentships are available for applicants who are ordinarily resident in the UK and are classed as UK/EU for tuition fee purposes.  If you have not resided in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, you are not eligible for a maintenance allowance so you would need an alternative source of funding for living costs. To be eligible for fees-only funding you must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU.  For information on EPSRC residency criteria click here.

Applicants who are classed as International for tuition fee purposes are NOT eligible for funding. International students interested in studying at the University of Exeter should search our funding database for alternative options.


Application deadline:10th January 2018
Value:3.5 year studentship: UK/EU tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate. Current rate of £14,553 per year.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Doctoral

How to apply

You will be required to upload the following documents:
•       CV
•       Letter of application outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to
        undertake the project.
•       Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained.  This should be an interim
        transcript if you are still studying.
•       If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your current
        proficiency in English.  For further details of the University’s English language requirements please see

The closing date for applications is midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 10 January 2018.  Interviews will be held at the University of Exeter in late February 2018.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email:
Project-specific queries should be directed to the supervisor.

During the application process, the University may need to make certain disclosures of your personal data to third parties to be able to administer your application, carry out interviews and select candidates.  These are not limited to, but may include disclosures to:

• the selection panel and/or management board or equivalent of the relevant programme, which is likely to include staff from one or more other HEIs;
• administrative staff at one or more other HEIs participating in the relevant programme.

Such disclosures will always be kept to the minimum amount of personal data required for the specific purpose. Your sensitive personal data (relating to disability and race/ethnicity) will not be disclosed without your explicit consent.