The Magnetic Films Group creates, explores and derives new insights into novel fundamental physics and new materials related to magnetic phenomena. Towards this end we synthesize thin film heterostructures and complex lithographically patterned device concepts with the goal to understand and control their physical, chemical and metallurgical properties. We focus especially on emerging new phenomena associated with the competition between spatial and magnetic length scales, as well as proximity effects. Our vision is to understand the ultimate limits of miniaturization and prepare magnetic materials with specifically designed functionalities. Thus we tailor properties via systematic control of preparation conditions and manipulate dimensionalities and geometric confinement by means of thin film deposition via sputtering and electron-beam evaporation combined with advanced patterning and templating techniques. Additional complexity comes from coupled heterostructures, which integrate ferromagnets, antiferromagnets, superconductors, and insulators. Cutting-edge characterizations include the use of neutron-, synchrotron-, and electron-scattering and microscopy at DOE user facilities, as well as sophisticated in-house magnetotransport measurements, low-temperature high-magnetic-field magnetic force microscopy, broadband ferromagnetic resonance, and spatially resolved Brillouin light scattering microscopy. This infrastructure enables us to comprehensively investigate magnetization dynamics, magneto-transport phenomena, and interfacial coupling effects. These new phenomena push the boundaries of fundamental understanding of nanostructured magnetic materials and underlie novel applications ranging from information technologies to energy conversion.
Recent Research Highlights
Magnetic Films Group Members