Electronic properties of magnetic multilayers

Andrey Umerski, Applied Maths, models the spin-dependent electronic properties of magnetic multilayers and other nanostructured materials, at the atomic level using the IMPACT cluster.

The cluster is used to model these materials and the quantum mechanical effects they exhibit. These are currently of great theoretical, experimental and technological interest. This emergent research area is known as spintronics, and is the research area for which the physics Nobel prize was awarded in 2007.

Results obtained from the old cluster were crucial in a successful bid for a 3 year EPSRC PDRA fellowship. The theme of this grant is to investigate the spin dependent transport of electrons across a semiconductor/ferromagnet interface, and the new cluster will be of central importance in this project: allowing us to perform realistic simulations by including interfacial roughness and defects. Such computations are highly CPU intensive, but by using the MPI (Message Passing Interface), we distribute the workload over all the processors, making the calculations tractable.

Future applications for research grants will almost certainly be based on work performed on the cluster.