Among magnetically ordered materials, ferromagnets are the best known and the most explored, however, many other types of magnetic order exist. Their usefulness has been often underestimated in the past, but they have been attracting attention recently, mostly in connection with spintronics: the field which studies how the spin of the electron (in addition to its charge) can be utilized in novel micro- and opto-electronic devices. Unconventional magnetic orders such as antiferromagnets or non-collinear magnetic orders can bring various advantages or new functionalities for such devices. For example, antiferromagnets have naturally fast magnetic dynamics which could be utilized for very fast computer memories. In this project, we will explore the various unconventional magnetic orders using ab-initio (i.e. first principles) theoretical calculations. The main goal is to understand the interplay between electrical currents and the unconventional magnetic orders and to identify materials and functionalities which could be utilized in novel microelectronic devices.
Ab-initio spintronics in unconventional magnetic materials