Open PHD positions

Fully Funded PhD Position – Modeling Ultrafast THz-Induced Magnetisation Dynamics for Next Generation Data Storage and Processing

Project Description:
Research Area: Since the pioneering work of Beaurepaire and co-workers in 1996 [1], the field of ultrafast spin dynamics has rapidly developed. The ability to use femtosecond laser pulses to not only quench magnetic order, but reverse [2] and control it has opened up new possibilities for magnetic data storage and information processing. More recently, with recent advances in experimental methodology and the need for low-power future information technologies, there has been huge interest in the area of using finely tuned laser pulses with frequencies of light in the terahertz regime.

The aim of this PhD will be to develop models of terahertz-induced spin dynamics based on a multi-scale approach. The successful candidate will use state-of-the-art density functional theory methods alongside atomistic spin dynamics [2] to simulate the dynamics of complex magnetic materials after excitation with a terahertz laser pulse. He/she will work alongside a postdoctoral researcher and a senior scientist at the Science and Technologies Facilities Council working on the EPSRC project, TERASWITCH, to support his/her research and will be supported by experimental measurements through collaborations with the Free University in Berlin.

We are seeking a highly motivated graduate in physics, engineering or mathematics with experience in programming and strong mathematical skills. Knowledge of condensed matter physics and/or magnetism and magnetic materials, as well as knowledge of methods in computational magnetism/condensed matter (e.g. density function theory, monte-carlo methods), is desirable but not essential.

Application deadline: 12 noon 1st July 2020
We strongly recommend you contact the lead academic, Thomas Ostler to discuss your application

Start date for studentship: Enrolment in September 2020

Interviews are scheduled for: week commencing 13th July 2020.

For information on how to apply please visit Your application should be emailed to and cc in by the closing date of 1 July 2020.

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship provides tuition fees at UK/EU levels and a maintenance bursary at the UK Research Councils’ national minimum doctoral stipend rate (£15,285 for 2020/21). The scholarship is available for three years of full-time or five years of part-time study (paid at 50%)

Information on entry requirements can be found at View Website


[1] – Beaurepaire et al. Ultrafast Spin Dynamics in Ferromagnetic Nickel. Physical Review Letters, 76(22), 4250–4253 (1996).

[2] – Ostler et al. Ultrafast heating as a sufficient stimulus for magnetization reversal in a ferrimagnet. Nature Communications, 3, 666 (2012).