Nobel Prize for Physics
On October 9th 2007 it was announced that the Nobel prize for physics this year is being awarded jointly to Albert Fert and Peter Grunberg for their discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance.
What We Do
In recent years it has become possible to manipulate atomic planes, lines of atoms, small clusters or even individual atoms to create new man-made materials (nanostructures) engineered on an atomic scale. Our group studies theoretically the electronic properties of nanostructure materials containing planes, lines or clusters of magnetic materials. In these, the internal angular momentum (spin) of electrons becomes a new degree of freedom and, by influencing the magnetic configuration of the nanostructure, one can control the transport of electrons across the structure. Magnetic nanostructures have, therefore, large number of potential and actual applications as novel spin-electronic devices, and this whole emerging field has come to be known as spintronics.
Currently spintronic devices mainly have applications within information storage technology, particularly as magnetic field sensors and random access memories. However, future devices, which may include spin-based transistors, are likely to be of fundamental importance in the development of quantum computers.
We use two complementary approaches - computer modelling and analytic asymptotic expansion methods. In our computer modelling approach, the solutions of the Schroedinger equation, which governs the properties of any microscopic system, are generated by `growning' each particular nanostructure on a computer atom by atom (plane by plane), i.e. in very much the same way such structures are grown in the laboratory. Our analytical approach relies on asymptotic expansions of the solutions of the Schroedinger equation, which allow us to obtain analytic expressions for certain physical properties of the nanostructures. The analytical solutions provide physical insight and rigorous checks on our computer modeling approach.
Our current research interests include :
Older research topics :
E-Colloquium on Theory of Spintronics
The link below is to an E-Colloquium on the "Theory of Spintronics" given by me, to the Open University MSc in mathematics students, in December 2012.
To run the file, download it to your PC and double click on it (java must be installed on your PC).