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Excitations in antiferromagnets and altermagnets


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 29 April 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Competition funded
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Dr Joseph Barker
School of Physics and Astronomy
Research groups/institutes
Condensed Matter, Theoretical Physics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Magnetic materials contain quantised bosonic excitations called magnons, the magnetic equivalent of phonons. These govern the basic magnetic thermodynamics, but by artificially altering their population, similar to an electrical chemical potential, we can use magnons for transport. This enables circuits to be produced where information can flow even without electrical currents, so-called &quot;spintronics&quot;.<br /> <br /> The frontier of spintronics research is in antiferro- and alter-magnetic materials. These show no external magnetism, but inside are strongly ordered on an atomic level, with each magnetic atom exactly opposing its neighbours.<br /> <br /> The advantage of using antiferromagnets or altermagnets is that they do not couple with external magnetic fields, nor do they produce external fields which would cause components to couple to each other. They also contain faster intrinsic dynamics, responding to changes at terahertz frequencies.<br /> <br /> Currently, the magnon excitations in very few altermagnetic materials have been studied. Furthermore, most antiferromagnets were studied a long time ago before the concept of spintronics existed. The role of magnon chirality and topology is now a hot topic and we need to study materials with different internal symmetries to understand what physical effects are possible.<br /> <br /> We have recently developed a method of using quantum statistics within atomic, dynamical spin models, opening a new era of quantitative modelling. This allows us to perform multiscale modelling where we work independently from experiments, starting from the basic principles of quantum mechanics using so-called ab initio methods and propagating information upwards in time and length scales. In this way we will make quantitative predictions about excitations in antiferromagnets and altermagnets truly independently of experiments.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>EPSRC DTP Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences</strong></em> (if you do not apply to this programme code, your application will not be considered) and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is<em><strong>&nbsp;Excitations in antiferromagnets and altermagnets</strong></em> as well as <a href="">Dr Joseph Barker</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor. Please state in the Finance section that the funding source you are applying for is <em><strong>EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2024/25:&nbsp; Physics &amp; Astronomy</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p>Applications will be considered after the deadline. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 3 April 2024 for Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship, 8 April 2024 for Leeds Doctoral Scholarship and 29 April 2024 for EPSRC DTP:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px"><strong>UK Only Priority Project</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px">A highly competitive EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant (currently &pound;18,622 for academic session 2023/24) for 3.5 years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only.&nbsp; All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a>&nbsp;are available to UK applicants (open from October 2023). The&nbsp;<a href="">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a>&nbsp;is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP) &ndash;&nbsp;now closed for 2024/25 entry.&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="">Alumni Bursary</a>&nbsp;is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <div class="cms" style="margin-bottom:26px; text-align:start"> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p> <p><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (now closed for 2024/25 entry). The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens.&nbsp;<a href="">Alumni Bursary</a>&nbsp;is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are&nbsp;<strong>not&nbsp;</strong>covered under this studentship.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p> </div> <div> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <hr />

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Joseph Barker by email to <a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Foctoral College Admissions by email to <a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>