Skip to main content

Magnetic skyrmions in chiral multilayers


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Professor Christopher Marrows
School of Physics and Astronomy
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

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.<br /> <br /> In Leeds we have a rich programme of research on skyrmions carried out with several leading European laboratories in Italy, Germany and Switzerland, as well as academnic and industrial partners in the UK. Potential topics for PhD study include studying ways to reduce the skyrmion Hall angle for their easier use in spintronic devices [Zeissler et al., Nature Commun. (2020),], studying the transport properties of skyrmions as a means of electrically detecting them [Zeissler et al., Nature Nanotech, (2018),], and the mobility of skyrmions at room temperature under the influence of novel drives such as spin waves or enhanced spin-orbit torques.

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

<p>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 research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Magnetic skyrmions in chiral multilayers&rsquo;&nbsp;as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Professor Christopher Marrows</a> as your proposed supervisor.</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>We welcome 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.</em></p>

<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><strong>Self-Funding Students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (January deadline)</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="">Henry Ellison Scholarship</a>&nbsp;are available to UK applicants. 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).&nbsp; <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; The&nbsp;<a href="">School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Fee Only Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support the additional academic fees of international applicants. The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China. The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. The&nbsp;<a href="">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a>&nbsp;is also available to international applicants and supports those who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p>

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

<p>For further information please contact Doctoral College Admissions by&nbsp;email:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>, or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p>

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