Magnetic materials

Known for thousands of years, magnetic materials are characterised by a strong correlation of the relative orientation of magnetic moments of individual electrons, ions or atoms, which is referred to as magnetic order. The order has a quantum-mechanical origin, making magnetism a unique quantum-mechanical phenomenon observed at room temperature. Magnetic materials have numerous technological applications, ranging from electrical motors to magnetic data storage, spintronics and magnonics.


This sub-theme is led by Prof Feodor Ogrin, working alongside Prof Rob Hicken and Prof Volodymyr Kruglyak.

Current research

In Exeter, we investigate both continuous and geometrically structured magnetic materials and their applications, using advanced experimental techniques, numerical simulations and analytical theory.

The focus of our current research is on:

  • Nano-patterned soft magnetic materials used in magnetic read heads [1];
  • Magnetic flux dynamics in magnetic write heads [2];
  • Time-resolved magneto-optics and imaging techniques, including X-ray holography [3];
  • Statics and dynamics of topologically complex micromagnetic textures in continuous and patterned magnetic films.
  1. P. S. Keatley, et al, “Time-resolved investigation of magnetization dynamics of arrays of nonellipsoidal nanomagnets with nonuniform ground states”, Phys. Rev. B 78, 214412 (2008). 
  2. R. A. J. Valkass, et al, “Imaging the equilibrium state and magnetization dynamics of partially built hard disk write heads”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 232404 (2015).
  3. J. Li et al, “Direct Detection of Pure ac Spin Current by X-Ray Pump-Probe Measurements”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 076602 (2016).