Surface and interface properties of metal-oxide magnetic nanostructures


Prof. Józef Korecki (ICSC) (mail)


Surface and interface properties of metal-oxide magnetic nanostructures

Foreign partner:

Prof. Sergio Valeri / Dr. Paola Luches, National Center on nanoStructures and bioSystems at Surfaces (S3) CNR-INFM, I-41100 Modena

Brief description:

The aim of this PhD project is to study laterally confined 3d metal-oxide systems. Atomic scale properties at metal-oxide interfaces are crucial for magnetic stability, magnetization switching, magnetic anisotropies and magneto-transport, the properties that are essential for functioning of spintronic devices. By comparing different 3d metals, different substrates and different preparation methods we aim to understand the interplay between the organization, the size, the shape of the nanostructures and their electronic and magnetic properties. The key idea of the project is to combine advanced nanostructure preparation methods (patterning using ion beams and self-organization on structured substrates) with atomic scale characterization with special emphasis to the interfacial properties. The studied systems will be ferromagnetic Fe and Co nanostructures (films, clusters) spaced by ultrathin layers of metal-oxide, such as MgO, FeO, NiO or CoO. The thesis will address the problem of magnetic coupling through the spacers of different types and thickness and its role for the magneto-transport properties. The student will stay at the Italian partner laboratory for 6 month, performing preparations, and magnetic characterization of the ion-beam-milled nanostructures, complementing the work on self-organized patterning performed in the Polish laboratory.

Students international exchange:

One 6-months stay of the PhD-student in Modena is planned during the reporting period VII. The Italian partner has a sophisticated Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system that offers the ability to design, sculpt or pattern nano- and micro-structures on different materials with spatial resolution down to 20 nm. The program of the stay includes patterning ferromagnetic films in tunnel junctions using the FIB and performing magnetic characterization of the obtained nanostructures.

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