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PhD position in ab initio spin transport and ato ... (No replies)

4 weeks ago
stamenom 4 weeks ago

PhD position in ab initio spin transport and atomistic simulations for spintronic applications


One fully-funded four-year PhD position is available from April 2020 in the School of Physics and the CRANN Institute at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), with flexibility to defer start to September’s registration, if required. Sponsored by the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI), this is part of a Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) awarded to Dr. Maria Stamenova for the ATMOST project commencing in April 2020. The PhD training will benefit from close collaboration with the Computational Spintronics Group, headed by Prof. Stefano Sanvito, and the project is also strongly connected with the experimental activity at CRANN and the AMBER research center. Strong collaborations with the NPL, the University of York and the QUB, including training visits for the PhD student, are explicitly included in the research plan.    


The ATMOST project: Atomistic theory and simulations for THz spintronic devices

The THz range of the electromagnetic spectrum (high-frequency microwaves) is the domain of important chemical and biological processes. Importantly, the THz range is expected to host the short-range, high-bandwidth telecommunications of the future. With ATMOST we seek to develop a multi-scale theory for modelling and optimising THz spintronic oscillators based on magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) built with novel antiferromagnetic (AFM) or low-moment ferrimagnetic (FiM) materials. We will combine ab initio electronic structure theory (at the level of the density functional theory) for evaluating atomically-resolved material parameters and for modelling the spin transport in the MTJs (calculating from first principles current-induced spin-transfer/orbit torques (STTs), via the non-equilibrium Green’s function method), and time-domain spin dynamics simulations at the level of the classical atomistic spin dynamics (ASD) scheme (akin to the micro-magnetic simulations but with atomistic discretisation). Typically exploited for manipulating magnetic order, the STTs can also excite and sustain magnetisation precession accompanied by electromagnetic radiation, which for AFM/FiM oscillators is in the THz range. Our aim is to realise a broader-scoped multi-scale simulation technique for current-induced spin-dynamics in MTJs. In this effort we envisage collaborations with leading groups at the multiple levels of theory involved, as well as close collaboration with the experimental groups of Prof. Coey and Prof. Stamenov in Trinity, who are currently actively researching novel THz spintronic oscillators.  


Essential/Desirable Criteria

Strong overall motivation, a keen interest in condensed matter theory and computation and a BSc (or equivalent) degree in Physics. Ability to work independently and also function as an active and efficient team player. Good writing and communication skills. Previous experience in UNIX/Linux environment, programming skills in Fortran/C/C++ and basic knowledge of density functional theory and/or electronic structure methods will be considered as an advantage.


General rules for PhD students: eligibility and admission

The School of Physics runs graduate programmes for PhD and MSc degrees by research only, with two admission periods, October to September and April to March. More details and all the relevant deadlines can be found on the Trinity College Dublin Graduate Studies web page for prospective students.

The minimum entry to the School of Physics (TCD) postgraduate program is a 2.1 honours degree from an Irish university or equivalent. The student should be fluent in the English language (certificate required for international students). All students are assigned to a single principal investigator, who has the role of academic guide and mentor supervisor (in this case, Dr. Maria Stamenova, with Prof. Sanvito as a mentor and co-supervisor).

For more information visit:


Financial aspects

Tuition fees for the 4-year PhD programme will be completely covered for an EU citizen. Monthly scholarship will be provided at the rate of €1500/month which is exempt from taxation in Ireland. Free medical care is accessible at the Trinity College Health Centre for all postgraduate students.


How to apply?

Applications must include a cover letter with your motivation to pursue such described PhD degree in Trinity College Dublin and a statement on your eligibility to the admission criteria described above, together with a CV, recent academic transcript (if not yet graduated) and the name & contact details of at least two referees (e-mail addresses).

For informal enquiries and to apply email:

Dr. M. Stamenova (Trinity College Dublin): [email protected]

Information about the research project can be found at:

The position will be open until filled.

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the employment policies, procedures and practices which do not discriminate on grounds such as gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, religious belief, sexual orientation or membership of the travelling community.


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Ab initio (from electronic structure) calculation of complex processes in materials