Sub-monolayer tuning unravels mechanisms in amorphous magnetic nanocomposites

Gabriella Andersson
Gabriella Andersson. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt.

The Swedish Research Council has reached a decision on Natural and Engineering Sciences on the calls Research Project Grants and Starting Grants for the period 2017-2021. The projects will start during 2018.

Project Description

Project title: Sub-monolayer tuning unravels mechanisms in amorphous magnetic nanocomposites
Main applicant: Gabriella Andersson, Division of Materials Physics
Grant amount: 3 600 000 SEK for the period 2017-2021
Funder: Project grant from the Swedish Research Council

Project description

The goals of the project are to further unravel physical origins of imprinted magnetic anisotropy in amorphous alloys, most plausibly associated with short- and medium-range atomic order but far from fully understood, and to explore how combinations of amorphous hard and soft magnetic phases can be used to create composite strong magnets with tailored performance for future applications. Samples, e.g. SmCo/FeCoZr, will be grown under highly controlled conditions, including the presence of applied magnetic fields that influence the short-range order.

We will do both screening of compositions, using combinatorial sputtering in Uppsala, and pinpointing of selected compositions using the recently developed Modulated Impulse Magnetron Sputtering Interplay (MIMSI) in Linköping. MIMSI allows the creation of nanocomposites with sub-monolayer resolution, i.e. we can vary the medium-range order very precisely. Structural characterization includes x-ray scattering, EXAFS and atomic probe tomography, whereas magnetic characterization will be done with various magnetometries. Theoretical calculations will aid the interpretation of structural and magnetic data.

The work will be conducted in Uppsala and Linköping during 4 years, with 1-2 PhD students and collaborators at both universities. By studying model systems we can understand the fundamental mechanisms behind how composition and local atomic structure affect overall magnetic behaviour, which can later be used for designing materials.