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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S033688/1
Title: Understanding and developing spin-based emitters for improved far-infrared radiation sources
Principal Investigator: Nutter, Dr P
Other Investigators:
Graham, Dr DM Thomson, Professor T
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Laser Quantum Teraview Ltd Trolex Ltd
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 26 May 2023 Value (£): 534,305
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Condensed Matter Physics Magnetism/Magnetic Phenomena
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Mar 2019 EPSRC Physical Sciences - March 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The unique way that light interacts with magnetic/non-magnetic metal ultra-thin films with thicknesses less than 1/5000th the width of a human hair has recently been shown to offer a route to producing novel sources of radiation with wavelengths that cover a wide range stretching from the mid- to far- infrared. This emission covers the THz region that lies between the microwave and the infra-red wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum; a wavelength range that remains difficult to cover, but has an enormous potential for a diverse range of applications. For example, THz radiation is particularly useful for security screening of people at airports due to its non-ionising properties, as well as for looking at the spectral fingerprints of materials including explosives, drugs and dust particles.

The atomic properties of interfaces are well known to be critical to the functionality of many technologically important devices, examples include spin-torque transfer magnetic random-access memory (STT-MRAM), the sensors and media used in hard disk drives and new, artificial multiferroics.

This project is focused on developing much needed understanding of how the emission process from ultra-thin magnetic structures depends on the material properties. By gaining understanding of how the underlying mechanisms are responsible for the emission process we will be able to demonstrate commercially-viable emitters. More specifically, the first emitters will be realised that operate without the need for an external magnetic field, overcoming the limitation this requirement currently imposes on the active emitting area and output energy.

THz radiation also provides a currently untapped approach to investigating spin-based devices. The knowledge gained in understanding the relationship between material properties and THz emission will prove invaluable in the design of spintronic devices being developed for the next generation of data storage devices. The overall goal is the development of sources of THz radiation that will have impact in a number of future application areas, in particular when looking at the spectral fingerprints of materials for detecting dangerous gases and dust particles which present serious health and safety concerns in areas such as the mining industry. Hence, the development of well-understood spin-based emitters would have a direct impact on UK economic success by enabling the development of new applications of THz radiation and spin-based devices that will add to the technological advancement of society.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk