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Exchange bias in nanostructured materials: Spin structure, interface dirsorder, coupling mechanisms and new materials


The aim of this project is addressing some unresolved issues regarding Exchange Bias (EB) phenomenon, together with the search of new materials. The EB connection to the spin and physical the structure, the role of domain formation, and the magnetization reversal mechanisms will be studied. A key tool will be the study of artificially nanostructured materials, in which sample features sizes are comparable to the characteristic lengths governing the magnetic behaviour of materials. This will allow tailoring some magnetic properties, like magnetic anisotropy or the domain morphologies, making possible to determine their role in the EB mechanisms. An arsenal of state-of-the-art experimental techniques will be used, for instance Kerr effect with rare geometries and Polarized Neutron Reflectometry. Among the new magnetic materials, organic thin films will be prospected. EB phenomenon is very poorly understood despite the huge number of applications in which it is already used, for instance in data storage and sen sor industries. Moreover, EB may play a crucial role in the development of the emerging and promising spin based electronics or spintronics. Therefore, besides its interest from the fundamental point of view, this project has great interest because of the potential practical applications. The outgoing period will be spent at University of California, San Diego, under the supervision of Prof. I.K. Schuller. There, samples will be fabricated, and also their structural and magnetic characterization will be carried out. In the re-integration period at CEA-Saclay (France), under the supervision of Dr. M Viret, the local magnetic structure will be explored using powerful experimental techniques, as neutron scattering and low-temperature Magnetic Force Microscopy. The present project will strengthen European competitiveness in this fields bringing the expertise of Ivan Schuller's group (UCSD) to the measuring capabilities of the CEA-Saclay.

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