PhD Student (f/m/d) for the Search of Movable Chiral Spin Textures in Thin-Film Antiferromagnets
Reference No.: QM 2022/9Nanometer-scale solitonic spin textures, such as magnetic domain walls and skyrmions, are promising candidates for applications in data storage, neuromorphic computing, and sensorics. In the Young Investigator Group “MaXRay: Magnetism and Coherent X-Ray Imaging” at HZB, we aim to observe and understand such solitonic spin textures at the smallest length and timescales. We develop x-ray imaging techniques with unsurpassed spatial and temporal resolution, derive analytical models to predict suitable materials to host these nanotextures, grow the corresponding magnetic films with precisely controlled properties, and integrate the materials into functional nano-electronic devices.
Antiferromagnetic materials are particularly attractive in this context because they allow for a much higher density of spin textures and much higher speeds of operation compared to existing ferromagnetic materials. However, experimental techniques to study spin textures in functionalized antiferromagnets are only now becoming available, and even the existence of a solitonic, i.e., uniformly movable spin texture in an antiferromagnet remains to be confirmed.
In this context, we are seeking to hire you as a motivated PhD student who will search for a thin-film antiferromagnetic material (i) in which antiferromagnetic chiral magnetic domain walls or antiferromagnetic skyrmions can be observed and (ii) which can be processed into a functional device such that the domain walls or skyrmions can be nucleated and moved on demand.
Your supervision will be shared between HZB and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ). At FZJ, theory-based materials screening will be performed by DFT modeling under the supervision of Prof. Stefan Blügel. At HZB, the most promising materials will be grown, structured by nanolithography, and imaged by x-ray imaging techniques.
- DFT modeling: Theoretical prediction of thin-film antiferromagnetic materials in which chiral domain walls can be stable
- Growth of thin-film antiferromagnets by sputter deposition, characterization by laboratory and synchrotron techniques (electrical transport measurements, x-ray diffraction, x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray imaging), device fabrication in the clean room (nanolithography)
- Development of your own scientific ideas
- Data analysis, publication of results, and presentation at conferences
- Master’s degree in physics, materials science, or in a related field
- Highly motivated to work in an international team on a highly competitive topic, with proven independence and excellent problem-solving skills
- Fluent in English (B2 or better, no certificate required), clear presentation skills
- Background in magnetism and spintronics, with experimental and theoretical expertise and ideally with first experience in DFT modeling and/or thin-film synthesis
- Willingness to work at synchrotron radiation sources, sometimes also at nights and during weekends (with time-off afterwards)
- Willingness to move from Jülich to Berlin during the PhD
Your Benefits at HZB
- Interesting, challenging, and diverse tasks in a rapidly moving field
- Unique access to some of the largest and most powerful physical instruments around the globe
- Chance to acquire and improve skills in a large variety of areas including DFT, nanofabrication, thin film materials growth, and x-ray imaging, with support by leading experts
- International visibility in a competitive field and excellent career chance
- Detailed supervision and mentoring in a small group combined with excellent integration into the larger research network in Berlin and Jülich
- Ample opportunities for qualification and training
- Flexible working hours, unless during beamtime experiments
- Internal and external consulting services on parenting, elderly care, and health topics
- Corporate health management and sports offers
- Company pension benefits
- Financial support for public transport (Jobticket)
- TVöD Bund 75% E13 salary
Fixed term contract for 42 months. The salary is based on the Collective Agreement for the German Public Service (TVöD-Bund).
How to applyYour application should be submitted in English or German and include:
- A cover letter including your motivation for this work and a description of relevant prior experience and knowledge (max. 1.5 pages)
- A CV with a sufficiently detailed description of academic and work experience and contact details of two references (no page limit)
- Digital copies of your degrees and certificates (BSc degree with exam grades; MSc degree with exam grades or transcript of records; if available: prices and awards)
- A list of papers, including preprints and work in preparation
We strive to increase the proportion of female employees and are therefore particularly pleased to receive applications from women. Disabled applicants with equal aptitude are given preference.For German version, please click on the following link: German Version.