This year’s 2021 IoP CPG Thesis Prize has been awarded to Sarah Jenkins, University of York. Sarah’s thesis, titled Spin Dynamics Simulations of Iridium Manganese Alloys, develops an atomistic model of IrMn. This poorly understood material is antiferromagnetic and has been used in hard disk drives for some time; however, its physics at the atomic scale has not previously been well understood due to the complexity of the material’s structure. Sarah implemented a multiscale micromagnetic model within the open-source VAMPIRE simulation package. Sarah’s thesis presents her findings on IrMn alloys in three parts: (i) its ground state magnetic structure and thermal stability, (ii) its magnitude and magnetic anisotropy (iii) the interaction (exchange bias) at the interface with a ferromagnetic layer. Her results resolve the microscopic origins of exchange bias with potential impacts in future data storage, neuromorphic computing and antiferromagnetic spintronics.
We look forward to hearing about Sarah’s work in the CPG Talks Series and reading more about Sarah’s project in the next IoP Computational Physics Group Newsletter. In the meantime, Sarah’s thesis is available online.