Platform Grant Application: Nanoscale Processing and Characterisation of Magnetic Materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Materials Science & Metallurgy

Abstract

This application for renewal of a Materials Programme Platform Grant is submitted by the Device Materials Group (DMG) at the Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge. Historically the work of the Group has concentrated on superconductivity, but with recent exciting discoveries of new functions in materials having related compositions and/or structures we have been able to transfer our skills and facilities to these with great success. The current Platform Grant allowed us to take several important evolutionary steps by studying new classes of materials and functions and introducing new growth techniques.At the most fundamental level, we aim to improve the understanding of how physical properties depend on the nanoscale structure of materials and interfaces, and how these may be controlled by processing. Much of our work is dependent on the synergy and rapid feedback enabled by combining processing and functional characterisation within the same research environment. With the increased emphasis of our work on smaller lengthscales, understanding the relationship between properties and structure at the nm-scale is absolutely necessary. The development and integration of structural characterisation capabilities within the Group therefore lies at the heart of our strategy for the next five years. The continued success of the group depends upon the development of expertise and infrastructure in three core areas:(1) Microscopy and characterisationWe will appoint a PDRA with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) expertise. This will support a wide range of projects whilst assisting other members of the Group in developing their capabilities in microscopy techniques. In addition to TEM the post will provide expertise and support for our focused ion beam system. We believe that through this initiative we will be able to achieve much more rapid feedback in the investigation of new materials systems and be able to gain greater insights into the materials we are developing. Dr. Alison Twitchett is an electron microscopist who has worked in the Department for several years; she is ideally suited to this activity and is the named PDRA.(2) Measurement and instrumentationThe task of supporting and developing electrical and magnetic measurement techniques for our wide range of research programmes can only effectively be performed by experienced workers with considerable expertise. We will use the second PDRA position requested on the new Platform Grant to provide flexible continuity support for this area. This will be operated in the same way as under the current Platform Grant by enabling key researchers currently employed on other EPSRC projects (for example Dr. G. Burnell, who will return to Platform funding in April 2006) to move in and out of Platform support into other specific projects as funding became available. This role will include software and instrument development as well as participation in a variety of current and future exploratory research projects but is not identified for a particular named PDRA as we wish to retain flexibility in this area.(3) Thin film deposition The group is dependent on a large deposition equipment base which has been built up over many years. We are requesting partial support for Dr. Nadia Stelmashenko to manage the training, safety and maintenance for much of this equipment and enable both funded projects and the large number of academic visitors to the Group to work effectively and gain results in a short time. A future Platform Grant will not only ensure the continued development of the research portfolio, but offer opportunities for both long-term and short-term research which are difficult to support within other funding arrangements.

Publications

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Aziz A (2009) Nonlinear giant magnetoresistance in dual spin valves. in Physical review letters

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Blamire M (2013) Field modulation of the critical current in magnetic Josephson junctions in Superconductor Science and Technology

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Bulmer JS (2014) Microwave conductivity of sorted CNT assemblies. in Scientific reports

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Fix T (2009) Ferromagnetism in Co-doped (La,Sr)TiO 3 in New Journal of Physics

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Leung GW (2009) Electrical and magnetic properties of La(0.35)Sr(0.65)Ti(1-x)Fe(x)O(3) thin films. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

 
Description A wide variety of research was supported, see outputs
Exploitation Route Trained research staff have now moved to permanent positions in academic and industry
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Creative Economy,Electronics,Energy,Environment

 
Description Platform grant supporting the work of the Device Materials Group. Primary outcome is trained research staff
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Electronics,Energy,Other
 
Description European Research Council
Amount € 1,410,679 (EUR)
Funding ID NOVOX 
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 02/2010 
End 02/2015
 
Description European Research Council
Amount € 1,800,000 (EUR)
Funding ID Superspin 
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 03/2012 
End 02/2017