Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Michael E. Flatté
Spintronics is a newly emerging field in physics, aimed at using the spin of electrons to carry information. One of the primary ways in which this could be done is through the use of spin waves. In order to do this, it will be necessary to have a complete understanding of spin waves and how they behave in various materials and structures. In this dissertation, we aim to create a thorough model of spin waves in both one-dimensional and two-dimensional magnonic crystals in an effort to understand and control their dispersion properties and propagation patterns.
Using the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation, we have derived a model for spin waves in magnonic crystals that allowed us to calculate their dispersion and propagation properties. In the first part of this work we considered two-dimensional magnonic crystals consisting of magnetic cylinders arrange in a lattice and embedded in a second magnetic material. The dispersion relations were found to be heavily dependent on the magnetic properties of the two materials, with band gaps appearing more readily when the magnetization was larger in the cylinders than in the host. It was also found that the dipolar field reduced the symmetry of the results, with reflection symmetry not appearing in the dispersion relations even when it was present in the physical lattice.
For the propagation of spin waves in two-dimensional magnonic crystals, we found that their directionality was highly dependent on changes in frequency. Propagation patterns varied from roughly isotropic for spin waves in the middle of a band level, to highly directional propagation along the x and y axes for a frequency near the edge of a band. The absence of propagation was also found for frequencies in a band gap.
For spin waves in one-dimensional magnonic crystals, we investigated the effects of applying an electric field to the system. When a uniform electric field was applied to a magnonic crystal consisting of a periodic variation in magnetic materials, the band levels were found to shift downward in frequency, with the magnitude of the shift being dependent on the strength of the electric field. While this method could move existing band gaps, it was not capable of creating a band gap in the dispersion relations. Creation of band gaps was found to occur when a periodically varying electric field was applied to a uniform magnetic material. This effect could be used to create a magnonic device where the dispersion properties can be dynamically controlled with an electric field.
magnon, magnonic crystal, magnonics, spin wave
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