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Summer semester 2020


Special Topics in Magnetism: Magnetism in reduced dimensions and spin transport

Days and hours:

  • Lecture:
    • Tuesdays 12:15–14:00 hrs.
    • Room: the lecture will be completely taught online
    • First Lecture: 21. April 2020
  • Practice seminar:
    • Every other week (on average), Thursdays 12:15–14:00 hrs.
    • Room: interactively via internet
    • First practice seminar: 30. April 2020

Target Group:

Students in the Master course "Physics" or related Master courses. Knowledge in fundamental solid state physics and quantum mechanics (Bachelor-degree level) is required. The lecture and accompanying exercises constitute the module "Special Topics in Magnetism", as described in the study regulations of the Master course "Physics".

Type of Study:

Lecture with accompanying practice seminar (Examination) (Details). The online lecture will consist of three parts:

  • Preparation/self-study part: Videos of pre-recorded lectures, lecture notes, and books are provided via Blackboard. Questions can be asked in written form in a forum in Blackboard and will be answered either there or in the following recorded lecture unit. For the practice seminar, original research papers that can be downloaded via VPN have to be read and questions posted in a Wiki in Blackboard.
  • Live part: Via live videoconferencing (using Cisco Webex Training), all participants can ask questions or type them in the chat.  They will be answered live. This will take place within the originally scheduled time on Tuesdays (it may turn out that less than two hours may suffice for that). The link and connection information is provided in Blackboard under "Announcements". The practice seminar every other Thursday will also take place by live videoconferencing. Here, participation is compulsory. We will discuss original research papers and the questions posted in the Forum in Blackboard..
  • Networking part: Students are encouraged to connect to each other in small groups by whatever technical means. Live one-to-one office hours are offered every Thursday between 3 and 4 p.m.

This online format is new for everyone of us and we may need to optimize it in the course of the semester. Suggestions for improvements are always very welcome. Technical details of the online teaching (videoconferencing, video streaming, etc.) are still being explored and will be communicated here later. To get access to Blackboard, it is important to register in the Campus Management System before the start of the lecture time.


Important! Students in the Master course "Physics" have to register until 01. May 2020 in the Campus Management System for both, the lecture and the practice seminar, in order to take the module.

Practice seminar:

The condition for the successful active participation in the module is active live participation in the online discussion in the practice seminar, which implies a regular online attendance of the seminar. Successful completion of the whole module includes, in addition, passing the examination.


The grade for the module will be determined by oral exams of 30 minutes. The date of the exam and repeat exam as well as the detailed form it will take place cannot yet be determined. Only students who did not pass or take the first exam are allowed for a repeat exam. 

Credit Points:

  • Five credit points are awarded for the successful completion of the module "Special Topics in Magnetism". 
  • Students of the master course in physics will get the certification about the exam and the regular and active participation in the practice seminar directly through the Campus Management System. All other students will get a paper certificate. 
  • If you need a paper certificate in addition to the certification in the Campus Management System, please send an e-mail to Marion Badow.


The lecture, lecture notes, material for the lecture and the practice seminar as well as the schedule of the practice seminar will be provided online via Blackboard. Login to Blackboard requires a valid ZEDAT account. To get access, please register for the module in the Campus Manegement System (registration may be revoked later until May 1st). All students who are registered in the Campus-Management System for the course automatically have access to the course material on Blackboard. Participants inscribed into other courses than the master course in physics who cannot register for the course in the Campus Management System can send an access request.


The field of magnetic nanostructures and spin transport has continuously spawned highly valued discoveries over the past years and is still under a rapid and lively development. Fundamental research in this field is fueled by the vision of dissipationless information processing when using pure spin currents instead of electronic charge currents like in conventional semiconductor electronics. Top-level publications from this field receive thus an enormous degree of attention.

This lecture will lead from an introduction into the basics of spin and magnetism in reduced dimensions to some of the most fascinating recent examples of actual research. It will cover the following contents:

  • Quantum-mechanical description of spin
  • Magnetic anisotropy
  • Molecular magnetism
  • Spin currents and spin injection
  • Pure spin currents
  • Spin caloritronics
  • Magnetoresistance effects and spintronics
  • Antiferromagnetic spintronics
  • Magnetic domains and domain-wall motion
  • Topological spin structures
  • Magnetization dynamics
  • Spin waves

The topics covered match very well to the research focus of several of the experimental and theoretical work groups of the department, in particular those participating in the Sfb/TRR 227.