Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Condensed matter: magnetism and magnetic materials

This research area focuses on the fundamental physics of magnetism and magnetic materials.

Partners involved:
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

This research area focuses on the fundamental physics of magnetism and magnetic materials. It includes, for example:

  • thin-film magnetism
  • characterisation and growth of magnetic materials
  • ferromagnetism
  • anti-ferromagnetism
  • frustrated magnetic systems.

A key aim is to further strengthen the links with communities in the Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure and Spintronics research areas. These enhanced links should be used to ensure that the UK secures a world-leading position in new fields, such as topological and superconducting spintronics (relating to the property of ‘spin’ in electrons) and skyrmionics (relating to exotic quasiparticles called skyrmions), which span these areas.

We aim to have a community which:

  • continues to produce high-quality research on fundamental topics in magnetism, and establishes the UK as the best place in the world to conduct research in these fields
  • collaborates with researchers in industry and related fields to ensure that new knowledge can be applied to real-world problems, such as magnetic data storage and medical diagnostics.

The community should also continue to make good use of large UK facilities such as Diamond Light Source and the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, which contribute to the excellent quality of research produced in this area.

Members of this research area community are major beneficiaries of these facilities, which are fundamental to the production of world-leading research that the community delivers.

Why we're doing it

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 overview report refers to a “golden age for condensed matter physics”. Against this background, the UK has one of the highest success rates at the European Research Council (ERC) Condensed Matter Physics Panel (panel three).

With regard to industry connections, the Condensed Matter – Magnetism and Magnetic Materials research area is linked to the strong magnetic data storage industry that exists in the UK.

The UK research community in this area has access to world-leading characterisation facilities in the UK (Diamond and ISIS), as well as facilities in Europe such as the XMaS beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble and the European Magnetic Field Laboratory spanning Germany, France and the Netherlands. Access to these high-class facilities, combined with access to scientists with extensive experience of using them, ensure that this area is well-placed to deliver high-quality research, particularly in fields such as nanomagnetism where the UK is strong.

This area offers a good balance of training opportunities both for doctoral students and for postdoctoral research assistants.

View evidence sources used to inform our research strategies.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Visualising our portfolio (VoP) is a tool for users to visually interact with the EPSRC portfolio and data relationships. Find out more about research area connections and funding for Condensed Matter – Magnetic and Magnetic Materials.

Find previously funded projects on Grants on the Web.

Last updated: 16 March 2023

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