Fiches de cours 2017-2018


Magnetic materials in modern technologies - from concepts to real devices


Lecturer(s) :

Grundler Dirk




Every 2 years


Next time: Spring 2019


Magnetic materials are extremely versatile in modern technologies (sensing, data storage, anti-theft devices,
). The course explains how magnets are optimized for application-specific functionalities. The relevant subjects are further explored in exercises, simulations, students' presentations.


Magnetic materials offer a very rich versatility for modern technologies; applications cover e.g. hard-disk drives in information technology, nanoscale field sensors, anti-theft devices and renewable energy harvesting in generators. The course addresses how materials and magnetic properties are tailored and optimized to obtain the different functionalities. A critical issue concerns the abundance of relevant elements/magnetic materials for future devices. Magnetic materials are also discussed in the framework of beyond-CMOS research lines.


We discuss the relation between properties of magnetic materials and their composition, structure, as well as the underlying preparation techniques. We relate the specific functionalities with the technological applications.

1. Introduction

2. Basic concepts of magnetic materials (field-induced and spontaneous magnetism, magnetism of elements and alloys, saturation magnetization, magnetic anisotropies, demagnetization effect, reversible vs irreversible switching process, hysteresis, domain walls, dc and ac magnetic susceptibility, exchange and dipolar interactions, Ising model, Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation, magnetoelastic coupling, exchange bias, spin polarization, spin waves/magnons)

3. Fabrication and synthesis techniques (bulk materials, thin films, nanoscale materials)

4. Properties of magnets (electric, magnetic, mechanical, optical, thermal) depending on composition, structure, preparation technique

5. Figure-of-merits of magnetic materials in different technologies and performance test, abundance, sustainability

6. Applications (e.g. storage, anti-theft devices, nanosensors, beyond-CMOS, biocompatibility)


Lecture incl. exercises, students' presentations, micromagnetic simulations


Hard and soft magnets, crystalline, amorphous, ferro-, ferri- and antiferromagnetic, anisotropies, domains, magnetoelectronics (spintronics), magnetooptics

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

Fundamentals of solid-state materials, Theory of materials: from structures to properties, Solid state physics (or equivalent).

Quantum physics.



available at library, eg. B.D. Cullity, C.D. Graham, Introduction to Magnetic Materials, (2009); J.D. Coey, Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (2010). R.C. O'Handley, Modern magnetic materials: principles and applications (2000)

Ressources en bibliothèque

In the programs

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German