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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Prof. Cowburn has research interests in nanotechnology and its application to magnetism, electronics and optics.  Before returning to Cambridge in 2010 he held positions at the CNRS Paris, University of Durham and Imperial College London.  He is the founder of three start-up companies and the inventor of the anti-counterfeiting technology ‘Laser Surface Authentication’.  He has had over 60 patents granted and is a frequent invited speaker at international conferences.  He is the winner of the 2003 GSK Westminster Medal and Prize, the 2006 Degussa Science to Business Award, the 2007 Hermes International Technology Award, the 2008 Institute of Physics Paterson Medal and Prize and the 2016 Royal Society Paterson Medal.  He was one of the 2015 IEEE Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturers.  He has held two ERC grants - an Advanced Investigator Grant and a Proof of Concept award.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society.


My research group is currently involved in a number research projects in the areas of nanoscale magnetism and spintronics. Applications of these basic research projects include low energy computer chips, ultrahigh density 3-dimensional data storage and healthcare devices. My philosophy of research is to span a spectrum from applied physics through technology to commercialisation.


Key publications: 

"Voltage-driven annihilation and creation of magnetic vortices in Ni discs", Nanoscale 12, 5652 (2020)

"Controlling All-Optical Helicity-Dependent Switching in Engineered Rare-Earth Free Synthetic Ferrimagnets", Advanced Science, 61901876 (2019)

"Symmetry-breaking interlayer Dzyaloshinskii– Moriya interactions in synthetic antiferromagnets", Nature Materials DOI 10.1038/s41563-019-0386-4 (2019)

"Three-dimensional nanomagnetism", Nature Communications 8, 15756 (2017)

"Rotating magnetic field induced oscillation of magnetic particles for in vivo mechanical destruction of malignant glioma", Journal of Controlled Release 223, 75 (2016)

"Controlled Payload Release by Magnetic Field Triggered Neural Stem Cell Destruction for Malignant Glioma Treatment", Plos One 11, e0145129 (2016)

"Highly tunable perpendicularly magnetized synthetic antiferromagnets for biotechnology applications", Applied Physics Letters 107, 012403 (2015)

"Two-dimensional control of field-driven magnetic bubble movement using Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions", Applied Physics Letters 106, 022402 (2015)

"Multi-bit operations in vertical spintronic shift registers", Nanotechnology 25, 105201 (2014)

"Magnetic ratchet for three-dimensional spintronic memory and logic", Nature 493, 647 (2013)

"Strain-controlled magnetic domain wall propagation in hybrid piezoelectric/ ferromagnetic structures", Nature Communications 4, 1378 (2013)

 "Three dimensional magnetic nanowires grown by focused electron-beam induced deposition", Scientific Reports 3, 1492 (2013)

"Dynamic Oscillations of Coupled Domain Walls", Phys. Rev. Lett. 108,187202 (2012)

"Tunable Remote Pinning of Domain Walls in Magnetic Nanowires", Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 087204 (2011)

 "Fast domain wall motion in magnetic comb structures", Nature Materials 9, 980 (2010)

"Near-field interaction between domain walls in adjacent permalloy nanowires", Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 077206 (2009)

"Measuring domain wall fidelity lengths using a chirality filter", Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 057209 (2009)

"High efficiency domain wall gate in ferromagnetic nanowires", Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 163108 (2008)

"Fingerprinting' documents and packaging", Nature 436, 475 (2005)

"Magnetic domain wall logic", Science 309, 1688-1692 (2005)

"Domain wall propagation in magnetic nanowires by spin polarized current injection", Europhysics Letters 65, 526 (2004)

"Magnetic domain wall dynamics in a submicrometre ferromagnetic structure", Nature Materials 2, 85-87 (2003)

"Submicrometer ferromagnetic NOT gate and shift register", Science 296, 2003-2006 (2002)

"Room temperature magnetic quantum cellular automata", Science 287, 1466-1468 (2000)

"Single domain circular nanomagnets", Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 1042-1045 (1999)

Professor of Experimental Physics

Contact Details

Email address: 
Room 431, Mott Building
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue
+44 (0)1223 337436


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