Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Eugene M. Chudnovsky

Subject Categories

Condensed Matter Physics | Other Physics | Physics


linear frequecy sweep, magnetization reversal, Mechanically assisted magnetization switching, Nanomagnet, Optimal frequency sweep, skyrmion collapse


This thesis presents my work on the spin dynamics of nanomagnets and investigates the possibility of manipulating nanomagnets by various means. Most of the work has been published\cite{LC-PRB2010, LC-PRB2012, LC-PRB2013, LC-EPL2014}. Some has been submitted for publication\cite{LC-arxiv2014}. The structure of this thesis is as follows.

In Chapter 1, I present the theory of manipulation of a nanomagnet by rotating ac fields whose frequency is time dependent. Theory has been developed that maps the problem onto Landau-Zener problem. For the linear frequency sweep the switching phase diagrams are obtained on the amplitude of the ac field and the frequency sweep rate. Switching conditions have been obtained numerically and analytically. For the nonlinear frequency sweep, the optimal time dependence of the frequency is obtained analytically with account of damping that gives the fastest controllable switching of the magnetization.

In Chapter 2, interaction between a nanomagnet and a Josephson junction has been studied. The I-V curve of the Josephson junction in the proximity of a nanomagnet shows Shapiro-like steps due to the ac field generated by the precessing magnetic moment.

Possibility of switching of the magnetic moment by a time-linear voltage in the Josephson junction is demonstrated. Realization of the optimal switching is suggested that employs two perpendicular Josephson junctions with time-dependent voltage signals. The result is shown to be robust against voltage noises. Quantum-mechanical coupling between the nanomagnet considered as a two-level system and a Josephson junction has been studied and quantum oscillations of the populations of the spin states have been computed.

In Chapter 3, the switching dynamics of a nanomagnet embedded in a torsional oscillator that serves as a conducting wire for a spin current has been investigated. Generalized Slonczewski's equation is derived. The coupling of the nanomagnet, the torsional oscillator and the spin current generates a number of interesting phenomena. The mechanically-assisted magnetization switching is studied, in which the magnetization can be reversed by tilting the torsional oscillator. The effect of the torsional oscillator on the switching of the magnetization in the presence of spin-polarized current is computed. Combined effects of the spin current and a mechanical kick of the torsional oscillator have been studied.

In Chapter 4, skyrmion dynamics and interaction of the skyrmion with an electron have been studied. Corrections to the spin texture of the skyrmion due to the crystal lattice have been computed. Due to the lattice effects the skyrmion collapses in clean ferromagnetic and anti-ferromagnetic materials. The lifetime of the skyrmion has been computed numerically and compared with analytical theory. In doped anti-ferromagnetic materials the weak attraction between a skyrmion and an electron may generate a bound state.

In Chapter 5, experimental results of the NIST group on magnetic multilayer microcantilevers have been analyzed. Theoretical framework has been suggested that explains the observed strong damping effect of the platinum layer on the mechanical oscillations of Py-Pt bilayer cantilevers. The strong spin-orbit coupling of platinum is shown to impede the motion of the domain wall in permalloy and to dramatically increase the damping of the cantilever motion.