Studies in Spintronic Magnetism

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


Methode Electronics make torque sensors for industrial and automotive application the operating principle of which is based on the magnetoelastic effect in ferromagnetic steels. These are a successful and lucrative product: however their competitiveness would benefit from improvements in a number of areas. Specifically, in order to allow them to function more reliably in magnetically noisy environments, they should ideally exhibit a larger signal field per unit strain. There are also some spurious signal issues attaching to nonuniformities in the sensor magnetisation profile. The project will address these various issues using a combination of X-ray characterisation, magnetometry, Kerr microscopy, radiofrequency sputtering, chemical implantation of selected rare earth impurities and micromagnetic modelling.
The project aligns with 3 of EPSRC's 4 Research priorities:
1/ 21st Century products: the torque sensors in question are both smart and multifunctional.
2/ Digital manufacturing: the torque sensors are the front-end interface between mechanical and electronic systems that employ digital processing (some of which are Artifically Intelligent systems).
3/ New Industrial Systems: the application area of these sensors is of enormous breadth and they are essential front-end components of new industrial products: the most compelling recent example of their application to a new industrial product is the e-bike. New applications like this are continually emerging.
The project aligns with all 3 of EPSRC's Research Strategies as expressed in its Strategic Plan:
1/ Balancing Capability: the project supports the R&D capability of an technologically excellent UK company
2/ Building Leadership: the project provides a broad and high quality training programme for a future leader of research/Industry
3/ Accelerating Impact: the project improves a product that is at the cutting edge of commercial exploitation - see comments above about its applicability in new industrial products


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513295/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2286081 Studentship EP/R513295/1 01/10/2019 30/03/2023 Finlay Evan Ryburn