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Tim Butcher passes his PhD viva

Well done to Tim Butcher who successfully defended his PhD thesis this year titled 'Transient Inhomogeneous Ionic Solutions - The Influence of the Magnetic Field Gradient'. Tim is now working as a postdoc with the Microspectroscopy group at the Swiss Light Source in the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. His research focusses on ptychography based X-ray microscopy and spectroscopy of magnetic systems using synchrotron radiation. We're all very proud of you Tim!

Orrie Larmour, Kieran Kilbane and Dr. Darragh Cronin join the group

A big welcome to Orrie Larmour, Kieran Kilbane and Darragh Cronin who have all joined the group this year. Orrie is a Masters student and will be working in the photonics lab under the direction of Dr. Jean Besbas and Prof. Plamen Stamenov. Kieran is a PhD student researching magnetic tunnel junctions and their applications in non-volatile field programmable gate arrays. Both Orrie and Kieran previously completed their Bachelors projects in the group. We welcome Darragh Cronin who is working as a postdoctoral researcher with us. Darragh is coming from Tyndell in Cork and will be working under the direction of Prof. Plamen Stamenov.

Dr. Pilar Jiménez Cavero joins the group

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Pilar Jiménez Cavero to the join. Pilar completed her PhD in the University of Zaragoza, Spain and worked on thermal spin transport in maghemite-based thin film structures. Welcome to the group Pilar!

Dr. Yangkun He joins the group

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Yangkun He to the group this year. Yangkun completed his PhD in Beihang University in 2018, researching the microstructure and mechanism for giant magnetostriction in Fe-Ga alloys with trace rare-earth dopants under the supervision of Prof. Chengbao Jiang. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher for 3 years in the group of Prof. Claudia Felser at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids researching skyrmion and hard magnets for magnetic recording. Welcome Yangkun, we're very happy for you to join us!


Dr. Yangkun He

MRG breaks the record for super-fast switching

Mn2RuxGa, or MRG, has been shown to demonstrate the fastest ever recorded switching of a magnetic material. The work, which was led by Dr. Chandrima Banerjee and Dr. Jean Besbas, was published in Physical Review Letters this year. Read all of the details here!

Nora Dempsey wins the 2021 CNRS Innovation Medal

Past group member Nora Dempsey was one of four scientists to win the 2021 CNRS Innovation Medal. This award recognises her outstanding work in the fabrication, characterisation and use of high-performance micro-magnets. Read about her story here!

Katarzyna Siewierska passes her PhD viva

A huge congratulations to Katarzyna Siewierksa for passing her PhD viva on February 25th of this year. The viva exam was held online with external examiner Prof. YoshiChika Otani and internal examiner Prof. Igor Shvets. Her thesis is titled 'Development and Characterisation of a Zero-Moment Half-Metal.' Well done Kat!


A little socially distant gathering for Kat!


Tim Butcher and Ajay Jha awarded bursaries from Intel

This year two members of our group, Tim Butcher and Ajay Jha, were awarded bursaries to the value of €3000 as part of the Intel- Trinity MOU program. Students pursuing a masters or those in their final year of PhD were eligible for the award. We are delighted for Tim and Ajay - both very well deserved!


Tim Butcher (left) and Ajay Jha (right).

Goodbye to Chandrima

We say farewell to Chandrima who is leaving us after 2 years to join the group of Oren Cohen at the Technion in Israel. Chandrima has really helped us advance fast opto-magnetism in our group and opened up new ideas and ways of working. We wish her every success in her new work on ultimate attosecond investigations of magnetic materials and we look forward to continuing to cooperate with her in the future.


A virtual goodbye party for Chandrima!

Rhian-Marie Thomas awarded an OBE

Rhian, the only Welsh speaker ever to work in our Group, joined Barclays Finance in 2000 just after completing her PhD on mixed valence manganites. She came to understand that finance was more than more than matchmaking willing lenders with willing borrowers, but along with Science, probably the most important tool for reshaping the world. She became a passionate advocate of the green agenda to combat climate change and is now CEO of the Green Finance Institute. Find out about it here and listen to her 40-minute interview of Mary Robinson here . The OBE is a British honour for people who have contributed to the arts, sciences or public service. Only about one person in a thousand ever receives such an honour.


Dr. Rhian-Marie Thomas

Plamen Stamenov elected a Fellow of Trinity College

We are all extremely proud of Plamen Stamenov on his election to Fellowship this year. A very deserving candidate - Plamen has greatly contributed to both research and teaching in the School of Physics. A Trinity Monday like no other!


Lucy Prendeville went to Grenoble this March for the 30th edition of Hercules; the 5-week European school to learn about synchrotron and neutron radiation sources. Unfortunately, after two weeks all students had to return home as a result of Covid-19. However, the course continued online for the following three weeks over Zoom - consiting of both lectures and tutorial sessions. She had a fantastic experience and would like to thank all of the organisers for ensuring the continuation of lectures in such difficult circumstances.


The Hercules students of 2020!

AIMagn Association - 5th Italian Magnetism School

Three of our first year PhD students spent a week in Rome at the 5th Italian Magnetism School, organised by the AIMagn Association. They learned about a wide range of topics in magnetism including spintronics, magnonics, magnetocalorics and magnetometry! A huge thank you to all of the organisers of this very successful spring school - in particular to Gaspare Varvaro, a former summer student of our group!


Lucy Prendeville, Brian Shortall and Zexiang Hu


Lucy Prendeville and Brian Shortall awarded IRC Scholarships!

This year new group members Lucy Prendeville and Brian Shortall were each awarded an IRC Scholarship. Lucy will spend four years with the group, working on metal oxide systems that exhibit unusual ferromagnetic-like responses to applied fields. Brian's scholarship, as part of the Enterprise Partnership Scheme, is co-funded by Analog Devices. Brian is a 1st year PhD student researching the thermal stability of exchange bias systems. Well done, we're all very proud of you!

New Group Members 2019

The group welcomes four new PhD students this year; Brian Shortall, Simon Lenne, Zexiang Hu and Lucy Prendeville.

Michael Coey presented with TCD Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael Coey was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Trinity Innovation Awards. Find out more here.


The Provost of Trinity College, Patrick Prendergast, and Michael Coey

Michael Coey awarded the 2019 Max Born Medal

Michael Coey was awarded the 2019 Max Born Medal for 'for the understanding and description of the magnetic properties of novel magnetic materials, including amorphous alloys, magnetic oxides, half-metals and hard magnetic materials, and for pioneering their use in devices.' He is the first Irish physicist to receive this award.

Read more about it here.


Michael Coey with his Max Born Medal

Spin-orbit torque generation for terahertz spintronics mini-workshop

Magnetism and Spin Electronics Group presents a one day (12 April 2019) mini-workshop taking on Spin-orbit torque generation for terahertz spintronics!



New Group Members 2018

Four new PhD students joined the group this year; Tim Butcher, Ross Smith, Jack O'Brien and Sruthy Poulose.

New Magnetic Crop Spraying

MagGrow has developed a pioneering, patented spraying system for the horticulture & arable sectors of the agricultural industry. MagGrow's new spraying technology system reduces drift by up to 70% and delivers superior coverage by enabling you to spray using fine droplets - a key challenge for conventional spraying technology. For more information please visit MagGrow.

MaMi Innovative Training Network

May 2018


The new Marie Curie PhD training network on magnetism and Microhydrodynamics (MaMi) began formally in May 2018. Academic parties from different disciplines in France, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Latvia and Slovenia will work with industry partly to train 15 new PhDs to analyse a new field. Two of these PhDs will be based in TCD. The aim is to catalyse a new filed coupling magnetic forces with bio-inspired local flow control, thereby creating new concepts that will transform microfluidics. Research projects range from fundamentals of celebral fluid flow to frictionless magnetic liquid confinement to demonstrations of revolutionary microfluidics and separation of rare-earth elements. The structured three-year PhD projects will include secondments to partner laboratories, and industrial work experience.
For more information please visit MAMI.

The best times in science are at the beginning of something new!

New MOKE Microscope

June 2018


The group has acquired a new magneto-optic Kerr effect microscope from Evico Magnetics Dresden. The tool will be used by Marie Curie EDGE fellow Dr. Niclas Teichert and others to study domains in zero-moment half metals and may offer new magnetic materials.

Mike Coey's portrait unveiled

March 2018

Mike’s college portrait, painted by Carey Clarke, Irelands renowned hyperrealist portrait painter will be on show at the RHA on Ely place over the summer, before the painting will return for display in college. The painting shows a laboratory setting on the fourth floor of CRANN, a 5T supercooling magnet visible in the background and magnetotransport data can be seen on the computer screen. Mike’s black notebook is open on the desk, pencil and calculator are at hand, a blue Textbook and a Halbach cylinder are all presented in exquisite detail. Everything in the picture will age except for the permanent magnet which is an optimal design of Nd-Fe-B, unlikely to ever be surpassed.

d0 magnetism reviewed

April 2018

A detailed review on CeO2 the fruit fly d0 system with 350 references A detailed review based on Karl Ackland’s PhD thesis has appeared in an issue of Physics Reports.

Image generation using VESTA.

Joule was right! A new contribution to Nature


175 years ago, James Prescott Joule, a successful Salford brewer who was passionate about science, immersed an iron rod in water. Joule is famous for showing that different forms of energy - thermal, mechanical, electrical - are interconvertible, and the modern unit of energy bears his name. But just then he was interested in magnetism, and he used an electric current in a coil to magnetize his iron rod, while monitoring carefully the change in water level to infer its volume change. Earlier he had detected a small increase of length when the rod was magnetized, a discovery known as magnetostriction, which explains why a low hum at twice the mains frequency emanates from transformers. But that day, when he was looking for volume change, he found — nothing. Joule reasoned that when the rod expands as it is magnetised along its length, it must contract by half as much in the perpendicular directions [1]. This is volume-conserving ‘Joulian magnetostriction’. Over the years, better magnetostrictive materials than pure iron were discovered, and many useful applications were found, ranging from electric toothbrushes to underwater sonar. One of the best materials was an alloy of iron and gallium, discovered in a US military laboratory in 2000 [2]. Its magnetostriction was found to be up to 50 times greater than pure iron. Magnetized rods could expand by up to 0.1%, a giant amount of magnetostriction.

Then, in 2015, two US scientists claimed in a letter to Nature [3] that the giant magnetostriction of iron-gallium did not conserve volume, as everyone had expected. This provoked some of the leading researchers in the field, including Chengbao Jiang and his student Yangkun He at Beihang University in China to grow a dozen crystals of the alloy (metals can form crystals!) with different compositions, shapes and heat treatments. Together with colleagues Michael Coey and Plamen Stamenov at Trinity College, Dublin they measured the dimensional change for every possible combination of crystal orientation and magnetic field direction. They even repeated Joule’s original immersion experiment, but they too found — nothing. Joule was right! They announced in a short note to Nature [4] that the theoretical basis of magnetostrictive technology was sound!

A spin-off from the Ireland-China collaboration is a 4-year project, supported from both sides, to develop a new, microscopic energy-harvesting device based on the Chinese iron-gallium crystals. It will convert mechanical energy to electrical energy wherever if can tap a source of mechanical vibrations. Joule would have been proud!

  • [1] Joule, J. P. On the effects of magnetism upon the dimensions of iron and steel bars. Philos. Mag. 30, 76–87 (1847).
  • [2] Clark, A. E., Restorff, J. B., Wun-Fogle, M., Lograsso, T. A., Schlagel, D. L., Magnetostrictive Properties of Body-Centered Cubic Fe-Ga and Fe-Ga-Al Alloys, IEEE Trans. Magn. 36, 3238 (2000).
  • [3] Chopra, H. D., Wuttig, M., Non-Joulian magnetostriction, Nature 521, 340 (2015).
  • [4] He, Y. K., Han, Y. J., Stamenov, P., Kundys, B., Coey, J. M. D., Jiang, C. B. and Xu, H. B., Investigating non-Joulian magnetostriction Nature 556 E3-E7 (2018).
  • Ireland China MANIAC Project

    March 2018

    The kick-off meeting for the MANIAC project, funded by the partnership of SFI and NSFC, took place at the annual INTERMAG 2018 conference which was hosted by Singapore this year. As a part of the meeting Prof. Plamen Stamenov visited the facilities at Beihang University in Bejing.

    Trifolium Dubium

    New system, developed by DCA Instruments, Finland, will be capable of sputtering of metals and dielectrics, pulsed laser deposition (PLD), and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Also included will be an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS), developed by SPECS, Germany. Each technique will be housed in its own chamber, with separate chambers for sputtering of metals and of dielectrics. Various technologies will be available during deposition, including confocal and target-facing-target sputtering, DC/RF and reactive sputtering, combinatorial and wedge deposition, substrate biasing, high temperature oxygen-compatible heaters, natural and plasma oxidation/nitridation of metal layers, with quartz crystal monitoring of deposition rates. All chambers will be UHV, connected via a UHV central hub, with entrance via 10-wafer loadlock. The system was funded by SFI, and will be a National Access Facility.


    New group members 2017

  • Rui Zhang, one of the group’s new PhD students is a graduate of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Shaanxi Province, China. Rui Zang is currently researching the Zero-moment half-metal ferrimagnetic Heusler alloys.

  • Dr. Fengjuan Yue joined the group in the September of 2017 from the Condensed matter Physics department Nanjing University China. Fengjuan research focuses on Pulsed Laser Deposition of Multiferroic Thin Film.

  • Ajay Jha, another new PhD student is a graduate of IIT Bombay, India. Ajay is currently working on characterisation of Half-metallic compensated ferrimagnets and device fabrication.
  • Group-D Reunion at the INTERMAG 2017 Conference in Dublin

    Fifteen hundred scientists came to Dublin in April fpr the 2017 INTERMAG conference. Group members, Michael Coey, Plamen Stamenov, Karsten Rode and Gavin D'Arcy all belonged to the local committee.

    The Group-D reunion at INTERMAG 2017 was a great opportunity for the past and present members to meet. Special thanks to Dr. Nora Dempsey for the organisation of the evening and San Juan for sponsoring the event. The picture below shows the graduates of the group in chronological order from oldest to newest as well as the current group members.

    From left to right: Michael Coey, Jacqueline Allan, Hu Boping, David Hurley, Justin Lawlor, Yoshichika Otani, Michel Viret, Montse Enrech, James Gavigan, Xiaolei Rao, Christopher Murray, Aidan Quinn, Andreas Leithe-Jasper, Nora Dempsey, Laurent Ranno, Amanda Barry, James O’Sullivan, Rhian Mary Thomas, Gareth Hinds, Steffen Wirth, Xiufeng Han, Laurent Clochard, Munuswamy Venkatesan, Fernando Rhen, Cian Culliann, Ciaran Fowley, Ciara Fizgerald, Gen Feng, Robbie Gunning, Zhu Diao, Eoin Clifford, Steve Watts, Plamen Stamenov, Ciaran Fowley, Peter Dunne, Karl Ackland, Amir Esmaeily, Allan Walton, Anna Majher, ?, YangChang Lao, Davide Betto, Kiril Borisov, Stephen Porter, Jane O’Reilly, Kataryna Siewierska, Zolt Gercsi, Diego Saldanha da Rosa

    SFI Funded Trifolium Dubium sputter-deposition tool update

    The Spin Electronics and Magnetism group at TCD will soon take charge of a new National Access vacuum deposition and analysis system, fully integrated for the use of various deposition and analysis techniques without the need to break vacuum. The system, developed by DCA Instruments, Finland, will employ sputtering of metals and dielectrics, pulsed laser deposition (PLD), and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Also included will be an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS), developed by SPECS, Germany. Each technique will be housed in its own chamber, with separate chambers for sputtering of metals and of dielectrics. Various technologies will be available during deposition, including confocal and target-facing-target sputtering, DC/RF and reactive sputtering, combinatorial and wedge deposition, substrate biasing, high temperature oxygen-compatible heaters, natural and plasma oxidation/nitridation of metal layers, with quartz crystal monitoring of deposition rates. RHEED analysis will be available in PLD and MBE chambers. All chambers will be connected via a UHV central hub, with entrance via 10-wafer loadlock. Automation will allow for high throughput and efficiency.

    The new system is expected to be fully commissioned by the end of December 2018.

    Plamen Stamenov coordinates FET–OPEN TRANSPIRE Project

    TRANSPIRE, Ireland's first project to be funded by the EC Future and Emerging Technologies Program with partners in Germany, Norway and Switzerland, runs from 2017 to 2020. The €4.2M budget will be used to develop Terahertz spintronic chip–to–chip communications based on spin–torque oscillators, which are based on new half–metallic thin films discovered in the group.


    Magnetic switching without a magnetic field

    Magnetic and electric switches underpin the information revolution. The magnetic switches are tiny patches of magnetic material that store the information; they can be magnetized in one of two opposite directions ‘up’ or ‘down’ to represent the binary digits ‘0’ and ‘1’. Everything we download daily onto our computers or mobile phones is stored magnetically on millions of spinning discs located in data centres scattered across the world. Unfortunately, writing and erasing all this information currently needs a magnetic field to switch the magnetic bits. These fields are produced by passing current pulses through minute coils, consuming vast amounts of energy in the process. Now a team in the Magnetism and Spin Electronics Group at Trinity College Dublin have devised an elegant scheme for magnetic switching that does away with any need for a magnetic field.
    Two PhD students, Yong Chang Lau from Malaysia and Davide Betto from Italy, working with senior researcher Karsten Rode and physics professors Michael Coey and Plamen Stamenov publish their results in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology this week [1].
    Their device consists of a stack of five metal layers, each of them a few nanometers thick. At the bottom of the stack is a layer made of platinum, and above it is the iron-based magnetic storage layer just six atoms thick. Platinum is a favourite of researchers in spin electronics (also known as spintronics), the technology that makes use of the property that each electron is a tiny magnet. Passing a current through the platinum separates the electrons with their magnetism pointing in opposite directions at the top and bottom surfaces. Those pumped into the storage layer try to switch its magnetic direction, thanks to an effect known a ‘spin-orbit torque’ that follows from Einstein’s theory of relativity. But like a pencil balanced on its point, the magnetism of the storage layer doesn't know which way to fall. The team designed the rest of the stack to solve that dilemma by acting like a nanoscale permanent magnet that creates the small field necessary to make the switching determinate, at zero cost in energy.
    The Group now plan to demonstrate a full memory cell, and an ultra-fast oscillator based on spin-orbit torque and layers of a novel magnetic alloy they developed recently. The thin film device stacks will be grown in a new SFI-funded thin film facility in the AMBER Centre at Trinity’s CRANN Institute for nanoscience. These new spintronic devices have potential to deliver the breakthrough needed to sustain the information revolution for another 25 years.

    [1] Y.-C. Lau 'Spin–orbit torque switching without an external field using interlayer exchange coupling', Nat. Nano., 11, 758-762 (2016)

    Trinity Physicists Capture Magnetism from Empty Space

    14 March 2016

    Theoretical physicists have long believed that empty space is not a formless void. The vacuum is thought to be seething with zero-point energy, the inevitable quantum residue of every sort of electromagnetic radiation. Nobody has ever managed to find a way to tap this limitless store of energy, and the signs that it even exists are slender. Direct evidence is mainly based on a tiny shift of a few parts per billion in an energy level of hydrogen, discovered 70 years ago by Willis Lamb in the USA, and a minute force between metal plates when they are only a few nanometers apart in vacuum predicted around the same time by Dutchman Hendrik Casimir.

    Now, a team of scientists from the School of Physics working in Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for Research on Advanced Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) have discovered a new and unexpected manifestation of this elusive energy. In a study of cerium dioxide nanoparticles – mainly used in catalytic converters that control toxic exhaust emissions from automobiles – Professor Michael Coey, his former PhD student Dr. Karl Ackland and Dr Munuswamy Venkatesan came across a strange magnetic effect. Quite unlike the behavior of normal magnets like iron, the effect did not vary at all with temperature. Stranger still, the magnetism only appeared when the particles were clumped together. Separating them into smaller clumps by diluting with nonmagnetic nanoparticles destroyed the magnetism.

    In a paper published on-line today in Nature Physics, the team that was completed by Professor Siddhartha Sen, a quantum field theorist renowned for his brilliant lectures in Trinity’s Mathematics Department, reported their findings, and came up with an astonishing explanation. Electrons in the clumps of tiny particles were responding to the vacuum electromagnetic field. Sen and Coey had recently predicted that such behavior might be possible in systems with an enormous surface area – a milligram speck of the cerium dioxide nanoparticles has as much surface area as an entire sheet of newspaper. Furthermore they predicted that when the particles were separated out into regions smaller that the wavelength of the light associated with them, the effect would disappear. This is exactly what was observed.

    As with any fundamental discovery in science, it is difficult to predict where this could lead. Others will want to test the results. The theory shows that effects can only be expected when there is a huge surface to volume ratio, as in the thin layers of interfacial water attached to biomolecules. Sen is already beginning to apply the ideas to protein folding. The zero point energy may never power our cars, but it might be shaping our lives. • Collective magnetic response of CeO2 nanoparticles, M. Coey, K. Ackland, M. Venkatesan and S. Sen, Nature Physics (2016) doi.10.1038/nphys3676 • Mesoscopic structure formation in condensed matter due to vacuum fluctuations, S. Sen, K. S. Gupta and J. M. D. Coey, Phys. Rev B 92 155115 (2015) Blue Skies Research: Dr. Munuswami Venkatesan, Prof. Michael Coey, Prof. Siddhartha Sen, Dr. Karl Ackland.


    Michael Coey wins prestigious Gutenberg Prize. Strasbourg 23/01/2015

    At a ceremony at the University of Strasbourg, the president of the Cercle Gutenberg, Professor Pierre Braunstein, announced the winners of the 2015. Gutenberg prizes and visiting professorships. Michael Coey, who will be carrying out a project on ‘Microfluidics without walls’ in collaboration with Bernard. Doudin of IPCMS and Thomas Heremans of ISIS was honoured, together with Veronique Dimier of Université Libre de Bruxelles whose project is on the ‘Influence of former British and French colonial administrators on the EU’s development policy in Africa’ and Giovanna Guidobon of the University of Indiana, whose project is on ‘Mathematical modeling of the circulation of blood in the brain’.

    The Cercle Gutenberg, consisting of Nobel Laureates and Members of the French and other Academies of Science based in Alsace, has selected three Laureates every year since 2007. The award is €60,000 of which €50,000 is used to help support a research project at the University of Strasbourg. Michael Coey’s project aims to revolutionize microfluidics, an emerging technology that handles minute quantities of liquid reagents in channels about 100 microns wide for applications like in vitro diagnostics and new drug discovery. By using magnetic liquid confinement instead of solid walls to define the fluid channels he expects to overcome the main drawbacks of the technology – clogging, sluggish mixing and inflexible operation, thereby giving birth to a radical transformation of the ‘Lab on a Chip’.



    Researchers discover world-first new material which could revolutionise information technology

    New ‘MRG’ material could lead to superfast technology and energy efficient data storage 25 years in the making and discovered by researchers at AMBER, Trinity College Dublin Scientists at AMBER, the materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin have discovered a completely new material, which could revolutionise information technology, computer processes and data storage. The world-first discovery was led by one of Ireland’s most highly-cited researchers Professor Michael Coey, a Principal Investigator at AMBER from Trinity’s School of Physics. The Centre is funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland. The research group led by Prof. Coey has created a completely new alloy of manganese, ruthenium and gallium, known as MRG. MRG is a strange new magnet; internally it is as magnetic as the strongest magnets available today, yet seen from the outside it barely appears magnetic at all. This world-first material (technically known as a “zero-moment half metal”) will initiate a completely new line of materials research and could open up numerous possibilities for electronics and information technology. The potential applications of MRG are many. It could lead to limitless data storage, resulting in huge, superfast memory in personal computer devices. It could also eliminate the potential of external magnetic forces to ‘wipe’ computer data. Finally, MRG could have major implications for the Big Data revolution. Commenting on the discovery, Michael Coey said, “Magnetic materials are what make reading and storing data – either on personal devices or on large scale servers in data centres – possible. Magnets are at the heart of every electronic device we use – from computers and laptops to tablets, smartphones and digital cameras. Given its unique insensitivity to magnetic fields, and the tenacity of its internal magnetic properties, MRG could now revolutionise how data is stored, which could have major implications for the future development of electronics, information technology and a host of other applications.” For 25 years, researchers worldwide have grappled with how to create a magnet such as MRG by trying to arrange numerous combinations of atoms in a way which was difficult without flouting the basic principles of physics. Now, AMBER researchers have solved this problem, by using established industry-standard processes for making the electronic circuits on silicon chips. MRG could therefore be adopted by computer and electronics companies relatively easily. Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock TD welcomed the announcement and said, “Here is a Government-funded research centre discovering innovative solutions to problems faced by the technology industry. I would like to praise the work of Prof. Coey and his team on this world first which opens up a range of potential applications in the electronics and information technology sectors.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said, “SFI Research Centres like AMBER, were established with a focus on delivering cutting edge, internationally excellent research, which will deliver real benefit to the economy and to industry. This discovery absolutely fits the bill and I congratulate Professor Coey and his team. Their discovery is a world first which could solve one of the major problems faced by the technology industry worldwide. This is the type of research which Ireland is, and will continue to be recognised for.”


    Hongjun Xu wins the 2013 CRANN Image Competition

    Hongjun Xu has won the 2013 CRANN Image Competition for his picture How does science start? The image is of a CVD grown nickel-graphene sample, and the colour was added.

    Hongjun is the third member of the group to win CRANN Image Competition. Amir Esmaeily won in 2012 and Lorena Monzon won in 2011.

    Closed pores of Anodic Aluminium Oxide (AAO) templates for the fabrication of one dimensional nanostructures by Amir Esmaeily

    Electrochemical growth of hexagonal cobalt microcrystals on a substrates coated with polyaniline by Lorena Monzon. Background adapted from Emerson/VISTA. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

    Michael Coey wins Humboldt Research Award

    Professor Michael Coey is the recipient of a 2013 Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Foundation grants awards to internationally-renowned senior academics in any field in recognition of their entire research career. Prof. Coey has been granted €60,000 to pursue research on rare-earth free permanent magnets with Prof. Claudia Felser of the Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Physics in Dresden.

    Professor Michael Coey nominated to European Academy of Science

    Professor Michael Coey has been elected to the European Academy of Science (EURASC). The European Academy of Science is an independent organisation that aims to promote excellence in science and technology. Based in Belgium, its members include Nobel Prize and Fields medal winners and some of the best European scientists having a vision for the scientific, economic and social future of Europe. Prof. Coey is the first Irish member.

    Dr. Lorena Monzon secures Enterprise Ireland funding

    Dr. Lorena Monzon has secured funding of €112, 911 from Enterprise Ireland for a one-year project beginning on 1st August 2013. Her project aims to improve the electropolishing process of medical devices, in collaboration with industrial partners.


    New electron beam lithography system to be installed in CRANN

    A dedicated electron beam lithography system is to be purchased and installed in CRANN. Electron beam lithography is a well-established top-down research method for creating nanoscale thin-film structures. It is versatile, and can be used for single nanoscale devices or large arrays of nano-objects. E-beam lithography complements UV lithography, which is used for micron-scale devices and structures.

    The system is an Elionix 7700 75keV which we are acquiring from Notre Dame University in the USA. The tool has a laser stage for precise alignment and 10nm lateral resolution. Funding for the purchase and installation has come from the TCD-SFI Opportunistic Fund, and from CRANN.

    Plamen Stamenov receives special SFI award

    Prof. Plamen Stamenov has been awarded a Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) by SFI 2012-2017 (€ 500 K). This project will advance the Andreev reflection technique, a type of point-probe superconducting spectroscopy, which can be applied to determine spin polarization in many magnetic materials and device structures.

    November: Prof Michael Coey named SFI 'researcher of the year'

    19 November 2012 Professor Michael Coey, who specialises in the areas of spin electronics and magnetism, received the researcher of the year accolade from the Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock, TD, at SFI's science summit in Athlone, Co Westmeath. More details can be found in the following Silicon Republic article:

    Magnetic Solutions Ltd. acquired by Tokyo Electron

    Magnetic Solutions Ltd. has been acquired by Tokyo Electron. Magnetic Solutions (MSL), is the leading supplier of magnetic annealing systems and processes used in the development and manufacture of non-volatile memories such as MRAM and STT-RAM, read/write heads in high density disk drives, GMR and TMR sensors. It was founded as a TCD Campus Company in 1994 by Professor Coey, who served as a director from 1994-2006.

    Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL), established in 1963, is a leading supplier of innovative semiconductor and FPD production equipment worldwide. Product lines include coater/developers, oxidation/diffusion furnaces, dry etchers, CVD systems, surface preparation systems, gas cluster ion beam technologies, and test systems.

    New PhDs

    Huseyin Tokuc has been awarded a PhD for his thesis of Organic/Ferromagnet Interfaces and Magnetoresistive Characteristics of Small Molecule Organic Semiconductor.

    Two other group members, Simone Alborghetti and Damaris Fernandez Donoso, received their PhDs in 2012. Simone’s thesis was on Electron and Spin Injection in Short-Channel Organic Semiconducting Devices; he is now working in the Graphene Institute of the University of Singapore. Damaris received her PhD for a thesis on Influence of magnetic fields on cathodic growth of phases in acidic sulphate and acidic copper sulphate systems; she is currently working with Mike Lyons in the TCD Chemistry Department.

    Huseyin Tokuc

    Simone Alborghetti

    Damaris Fernandez Donoso