This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, Magnetic Exchange Springs
Job Reference 0018/17/TH
Post Type Full time, three year fixed term
Division Physical Science
Salary information £32,480to £38,211 (Discretionary range to £43,943)
Application deadline 22/03/2017
Date of interviews 21/04/2017

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is a synchrotron radiation source and a leading scientific facility of its type in the world. Located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in South Oxfordshire, we host research facilities supporting cutting edge research in all fields of science.  

We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced PDRA to join the EPSRC funded project “Picosecond Dynamics of Magnetic Exchange Springs”. This project brings together a team of researchers with world leading capability to fabricate and characterize exchange spring (ES) structures, explore their dynamical behaviour through time resolved magneto-optical and x-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements, and perform complementary analytical and numerical modelling for comparison with experiment.

Typically the ES consists of alternate layers of high and low magnetic anisotropy (hard and soft) material. The potential energy stored within the ES can drive dynamic magnetic processes if the anisotropy of a hard layer, which constrains the end of the ES, is suddenly relaxed. The overall aim of the project is to study the picosecond magnetization dynamics of ES structures to obtain new knowledge of the exchange interaction, at interfaces, at elevated temperature, and in non-equilibrium states induced by femtosecond laser pulses. Furthermore, the potential of ESs to yield more reliable and energy efficient switching in data storage systems will be assessed.

The successful candidate will be trained in the fabrication and characterization of rare earth-transition metal (RE-TM) ES superlattices and will carry out synchrotron-radiation based measurements on these materials.

We are looking for a person with good knowledge of magnetism and related magnetic measurement techniques preferably using synchrotron radiation and/or experience in thin-film growth. The candidate should hold a PhD, preferably followed by relevant experience, should have worked on a related field before and have an excellent publication record. The work will be performed under the direction of Prof G van der Laan from Diamond and Prof T Hesjedal from Oxford.

  • To work on the EPSRC-funded project “Picosecond Dynamics of Magnetic Exchange Springs”;
  • To fabricate and characterize rare earth - transition metal (RE-TM) exchange spring superlattices in which layer thicknesses and temperature dependent magnetic properties are tuned to produce a range of dynamic response;
  • To measure these RE-TM superlattices in synchrotron based experiments at Diamond as well as synchrotron facilities abroad, specifically using XMCD, XFMR and time resolved methods;
  • To participate in the in-house research program of the Magnetic Spectroscopy Group at DLS and Thin Film Quantum Materials Group at Oxford/Harwell and related activities;
  • To analyze and model experimental results and prepare publications and talks;
  • To participate in regular meetings between the project members in Exeter, Oxford and Diamond. 

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate PhD degree;
  • Research qualification as demonstrated by scientific output, such as an excellent scientific publication record;
  • Experience in scientific applications of synchrotron radiation on magnetic materials;
  • Good practical background in magnetic spectroscopy;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and to take it effectively through to conclusion;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability to present seminars and write papers on research work;
  • Ability to take day to day responsibility of lab work and experiments;
  • Self-motivation;
  • Must be able to travel occasionally in the UK and abroad, including overnight absences;
  • Availability to work occasionally outside normal hours when experiments require.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Previous relevant experience post PhD qualification;
  • Ability to coordinate research activities;
  • Experience in ferromagnetic resonance techniques;
  • Experience with soft x-ray beamlines;
  • Experience with magnetic dichroism;
  • Experience with scientific computer codes;
  • Good organisational and planning skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Further Information

  • Must be able to travel occasionally in the UK and abroad, including overnight absences;
  • Availability to work occasionally outside normal hours when experiments require.

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our 'Application Form' page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

Other information