The Condensed Matter Physics group at Leeds has been one of the biggest concentrations of spintronics research in Europe – over the last 20 years we have addressed all the main questions in spintronics through our ability to produce ultra-thin layers by a variety of means. For example, we have grown world-class materials for ferromagnetic/superconductor junctions, metallic multilayers for the study of exchange bias, single crystal samples, tunnel junctions for injection of spins into organic molecules and lateral devices for the generation and detection of pure spin currents. Our research is built on the foundations of our materials, characterization, nano-fabrication and computational modelling abilities.

New Functionalities from Engineered Interfaces and Heterostructures

The Condensed Matter Physics Group’s broad research focus is on electron and spin transport in materials and across interfaces. We are acknowledged as an international centre of excellence for the emerging technology spintronics.

Spintronics is a new technology that utilises a quantum property of the electron known as spin. Every electron spin is oriented in one of two directions – up or down – and spintronics devices exploit this property for information storage and logic operations. Read More

The group has addressed the main questions in spintronics via its ability to deposit thin films –  layers of material with thicknesses that range from a few atoms thick, to a fraction of a millionth of a metre. These films are grown in multilayer stacks to allow us to engineer and investigate interfaces, and are patterned to form nanoscale devices.

The diagram above summarises the main topics of our current research programmes, starting from the preparation of materials to the characterisation of devices based on combinations of different types of material.