Fiches de cours 2018-2019


Spin Dynamics


Lecturer(s) :

Ansermet Jean-Philippe
Various lecturers




Every year


Every year / Fall


To acquire knowledge about the conceptual building blocks of spintronics, such as the fundament notions of magnetism, spin relaxation and diffusive transport, so as to be able to understand current research and the basic principles that led to breakthroughs in information technology.


This course is intended to develop an understanding of the fundamental notions pertaining to spintronics: magnetism, transport and spin relaxation. The course contents will be as follows:

  1. exchange, superexchange : first with molecules to keep things explicit, then in solids
  2. RKKY coupling : based on the Bloch-Wangness formalism
  3. DM coupling : basic idea, relevance in current research
  4. magnetic anisotropies : not just energy terms, but microscopic mechanisms
  5. LLG equation : from variational principle, applied to hysteresis and ferromagnetic resonance (FMR)
  6. spin wave : basic idea, magnetostatic modes, Holstein-Primakov
  7. spin relaxation : with or without momentum relaxation, Dyakonov-Perel, Elliott-Yafet, fluctuating fields
  8. spin-cross-over molecules : electric-field induced switching from low spin to high spin state
  9. Rashba effect : 2D spin-polarized bands, ARPES evidence, transport studies
  10. spin-dependent transport : spin diffusion length, giant magnetoresistance
  11. pure spin currents : continuity equation, magnetization switching, in insulators, application to MRAMs
  12. spin chemistry : spin-dependent electron-hole recombination, CISS, cryptochrome field sensing
  13. optical pumping in III-V semiconductors
  14. special topic in magnetic resonance, like NV centers, DNP, single spin detection

The format of the course is ex cathedra classes followed by a presentation by one of the participant. Participants will be challenged to understand and present to the class one recent paper that would connect to some extent with their PhD research. As much as possible, the presentation will match with topic of the lecture of the same week.

Occasionally, a member of the Institute of Physics, expert in one of the topics, may give the lecture.


exchange, RKKY, DM, Rashba splitting, magnetic anisotropies

spin relaxation, spin-dependent transport, magnetic resonance, spin waves

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

Quantum mechanics

Prof. D. Grundler's course on magnetism

Expected student activities

to be able to understand recent research on spintronics or magnetic resonance



Mattis Theory of Magnetism Made Simple, R.M. White Quantum Theory of Magnetism, Fulde Electron Correlations in Metals and Solids, Gurevich Magnetic Osc. and Waves

Moodle Link

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