Research Profile: Colin Kirkbride
CDT PhD Project: Control of Skyrmions in Synthetic Antiferromagnetic Multilayer Structures
Supervisors: Prof. Stephen McVitie, Materials and Condensed Mater Physics Group, University of Glasgow
Synthetic antiferromagnetic skyrmions are topologically protected magnetic structures which can be stabilised in multilayer materials and are promising candidates for novel data storage devices with high storage density. The aim of my project is to use qualitative and quantitative Lorentz electron microscopy, to better understand how these materials behave and develop new methods for controlling skyrmion nucleation, measuring their dynamics and realising practical devices.
Educational Background and experience:
I joined the CDT as part of the 2020 Cohort having previously completed an MSci degree in Chemical Physics at the University of Glasgow, where my final year project focussed on using Density Functional Theory to study novel hydrogen evolution catalysts. During my degree, I also spent a year working as a placement student at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory within the ‘Ultra’ research group, using techniques in Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy including Time-resolved Multiple Probe and Sum-Frequency Generation spectroscopies.
2020 Cohort Doctoral Forum Representative to Research and Training Committee
- Materials Research Exchange (MRE) 2022, 4th-5th October 2022, Fullerton, J., Kirkbride, C., McCauley, M., & Smith, B., Poster Title: ‘Advanced electron microscopy of emerging data storage devices and energy materials’
- Conclave 2022, 21st-22nd June 2022, The National Piping Centre, Poster Title: ‘Skyrmions in Synthetic Antiferromagnetic Multilayer Structures’
- Lasers for Science Facility User Meeting, 9th-11th April 2019, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, Poster Title: ‘Ultrafast Time-resolved Analysis of Molecules and Interfacial Surfaces’
The CDT is a fantastic research and training environment with a strong focus on professional personal development and outreach. This has helped me develop my abilities as a researcher, alongside gaining essential project leadership and managerial skills through courses run by the Chartered Management Institute. In addition to having access to world-class facilities at the University of Glasgow and Queen’s University Belfast, I have also been able to travel to national research facilities such as Diamond Light Source and the Paul-Scherrer Institute, and to capitalise on the CDT’s well established industrial connections.