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Professor Russell Cowburn FRS

Professor Russell Cowburn, FRS

Professor of Experimental Physics

Room 431, Mott Building
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue

Cambridge CB3 0HE
Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 337436


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 two 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 and the 2008 Institute of Physics Paterson Medal and Prize.  In 2009 his research was recognised by the European Union by the award of a 2.8 million Euros ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.

Research groups

Thin Film Magnetism:

Research Interests

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

"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)