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A post-doctoral position (1 year) is available in the “Solid State Optics” group at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides (LPS), University Paris-Sud (Orsay, France) in the frame of the ANR contract “FEMMES” based on ferroelectromagnetic materials (FEM). These materials combine ferroelectricity and (anti) and/or ferromagnetism, which are related by electromagnetic coupling.

These materials are known since more than 50 years and have been investigated mainly in the bulk. They have given rise to a significant theoretical work that accounts for the observed effects and also predicts a large number of effects not yet evidenced. It is in principle possible to tune the magnetic order using an electric field or inversely the electric order using a magnetic field.

The consortium “FEMMES” consists of 4 french physics and chemistry laboratories (At the university of Caen : CRISMAT and at the University Paris-Sud : SPEC in CEA, UMP in Thalès and our group in LPS). It merges teams having specific capabilities in terms of growth, transport measurements, magnetic and structural characterization. The final aim is to optimize, in FEM materials prepared in thin films, the electric and magnetic properties, expected to be strongly coupled. We are in particular interested in tuning the polarization by a magnetic field and the magnetization by an electric field in order in order to insert them FEM in heterostructures and propose new concepts in spintronics. The archetype of FEM is BiFeO3 that exhibit both ferroelectric and ferromagnetic Curie temperature well above 300K. By testing different buffer layers, the influence of strains on the electric and magnetic states is addressed. Next, artificial heterostructures have been grown combining FEM and usual ferromagnets, suitable for testing the magnetoelasting coupling. These multisystems should enable a better understanding of the physics of FEM and in particular that of the magnetoelectric coupling. The main interest of the “Solid State Optics” group at Orsay concerns magnetization reversal studies in thin film structures and associated nanostructures. In FEM, ferromagnetic properties are investigated by magnetometry and Kerr or Faraday microscopy. Strains, ferroelectricity and antiferromagnetism can be analyzed by microscopy in linear birefringence. Complementary information can be obtained by optical and magneto-optical measurements in second harmonic generation of light. All these technics are essential to evidence the coupling between magnetic and electric orders, which is at the heart of the project.

The applicant, he (or she), will be enrolled in the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides at Orsay, that is the largest institute devoted to condensed matter hysics in France. The laboratory is a part of the Université Paris Sud and is also associated with the CNRS. It hosts permanently around 200 people. The laboratory brings together under one roof all the facilities and know-how needed to create, characterize and study new materials. The trainees will find in the laboratory a broad range of experimental techniques such as microscopy, spectroscopy, scattering experiments... together with an important group of theoreticians. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to visit and acquire specific knowledge from the laboratories involved in the ANR contract. The applicant must have a PhD in Physics, materials science or related discipline. A previous experience in the field of magneto-optics or FEM phenomena is desirable and will be valued.

There are no restrictions on nationality and even french citizens are eligible. Monthly salary is around 2000 euros, net. The applicant should send a full CV, a list of publications and the names of at least two recommendation referees to : Alexandra Mougin