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Summer semester 2021


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: 13. April 2021
  • Practice seminar:
    • Every other week (on average), Thursdays 12:15–14:00 hrs.
    • Room: interactively via internet
    • First practice seminar: 29. April 2021

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 Webex), 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.

Suggestions for improvements of the online teaching format are always very welcome. 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 30. April 2021 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 a written online exam of 90 minutes.

  • Date of the exam: 20. July 2021. Time for the exam: 90 minutes (12:15 until 13:45 hrs.). 
  • Allowed resources: The exam is "open book", i.e., all resources are allowed, but no communication with other persons.

A repeat exam is offered on October 12, 2021 at 12:15 a.m. under the same conditions as the first exam. Everyone who is taking the course for the first time can participate in the repeat exam, even if the first exam was already successfully passed. In that case, the exam with the better grade counts.

Students other than master students of physics who cannot register in the Campus Management System and who want to participate in the exam have to send an e-mail before May 31st to kuch@physik.fu-berlin.de, stating their name, matriculation number, and course of study.

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. 


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 Management System (registration may be revoked later until April 30th). 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.