Coherent Quantum Transport in Hybrid Super/ Ferro Nanostructures
The superconductivity and ferromagnetism at thenanometer scale have recently attracted a great interest. These electron coupling phenomena can be considered to be mutually exclusive. While ferromagnetic exchange interaction enforces parallel electron spin alignment, usual superconductivity requires anti-parallel alignment. The standard theory assumes homogenous magnetism, but extensions to the theory have indicated that if this condition is relaxed, then a novel type of superconductivity with parallel spin alignment should be observable.
Developments in nanofabrication and materials control at Royal Holloway, University of London have enabled recent experiments in which long range penetration of superconductivity into a ferromagnet with helical magnetisation has been observed, which is compatible with theories of an induced spin-triplet superconducting state . To investigate fully the effect a number of complementary observations based on coherent electron transport are required.
A project student will do research in nanophysics and nanotechnology of hybrid super/ferro nanostructures using state-of-the-art laboratories with modern high-tech equipment. The project involves various aspects of modern condensed matter physics including superconductivity, advanced magnetism, mesoscopic phenomena (experiments with the phase of electron wave functions). In addition to being at the cutting edge of modern science the student will gain practical experience in the following equipment/procedures:
- Electron Beam Nano-lithography and Scanning Electron Microscopy.
- Atomic Force Microscopy.
- Various vacuum techniques.
- Thin film deposition techniques.
- Reactive Plasma techniques.
- Sub-Kelvin Cryogenic techniques.
- Low-noise precision electronics and measurements.
- Latest versions of scientific software.
Such qualifications gives excellent opportunities for a future career in science as well as in science-oriented industries.
 “Superconducting Phase Coherent Electron Transport in Proximity Conical Ferromagnets”, Sosnin, H. Cho, V.T. Petrashov, A.F. Volkov, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 157002 (2006).
For further information contact Professor Victor Petrashov.