EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics (CDT-CMP): Spin Hall Effect in Realistic Materials and Devices for MRAM Applications

We invite applications from excellent students for a fully and industry co-funded studentship in the theoretical description of the Spin Hall Effect in Realistic Materials and Devices for MRAM Applications.


The Spin Hall Effect can be used to switch the spin orientation of a neighbouring magnetic layer and could serve as a key element in future low-power magnetoresistive random access memory. This phenomenon induced by the relativistic spin-orbit coupling has been known for over a decade, but a clear understanding of how to optimize the Spin Hall Effect in real and complex materials is still lacking.

In this project your role would be to work on the rapid identification of effective Spin Hall materials based on material-specific calculations. The focus will be on realistic materials including disorder, impurities, as well as interfaces and surfaces. In order to achieve that, the project will include both large scale numerical calculations as well as code development.

The project is co-funded by a leading industry partner, Western Digital, and will be driven forward by the close collaboration between the University of Bristol and Western Digital in order to optimize materials and devices. The 4-year funding will cover UK/EU fees and will provide a living allowance equivalent to the Research Council UK rate. The first year will be spent in the CDT-CMP completing the taught part of the programme including work on the project itself, leading into years 2-4 working on the research project in Bristol, with possible research visits to the industry partner.

For informal enquiries please contact Martin Gradhand (M.Gradhand@bristol.ac.uk), or contact us at cdt-cmp@bristol.ac.uk

Start date: September 2018

Candidate requirements:

Eligibility: UK and EU students.

Entry Requirements: Normally, an upper second-class honours BSc, MSci or MPhys degree in physics or a related subject.

Funder: 1+3 years tuition fees (at ‘home’ rate) and stipend. Minimum stipend for 2017/18 is £14,777

How to apply:

Application is via the postgraduate application pages on the University website:


Please choose the course ‘Condensed Matter Physics CDT’ and write in the Research Details section  Spin Hall Effect in Realistic Materials and Devices for MRAM

Final deadline for applications:  15th June 2018  Note: applications will be considered as they are submitted: the studentship may be awarded before the final deadline date.