Uranium-based Spintronics

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

Spintronics research often relies on the large spin-orbit coupling of heavy materials in conjunction with ferromagnetism to provide novel solutions for the next generation of computational memory and logic devices. The combination of these heavy metals with ferromagnets can provide low energy, efficient switching of magnetisation through the spin Hall effect and spinorbit torque, or can result in interesting new chiral spin textures such as skyrmions through the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. This thesis presents preliminary studies of uranium-based structures to evaluate the suitability of uranium for spintronics applications. Uranium is an interesting candidate for spintronic devices due to its large spin-orbit coupling and 5f electrons. Magnetometry, ferromagnetic resonance and transport measurements on bilayers systems unveiled oscillations in a number of magnetic properties, which likely arise from quantum well states in the uranium layer. The strength of these oscillations varies with the choice of ferromagnet and is likely a consequence of variations in the strength of 3d-5f orbital hybridisation. This thesis also introduces preliminary studies of dilute uranium alloys.
Date of Award29 Sep 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorChris Bell (Supervisor) & Ross S Springell (Supervisor)

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