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STFC Fellow, Diffraction & Materials Division Head

Introduction and profile

Professor Sean Langridge is head of the ISIS diffraction and Materials Division and an STFC Fellow. Sean has extensive experience of solid state magnetism and in particular the application of neutron and x-ray scattering techniques to nanomagnetism. Previously as a European Union research fellow, Sean worked on the design and construction of the resonant magnetic scattering beam line (ID20) at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Since moving to ISI​S, he has focussed on polarised neutron techniques, soft x-ray resonant diffraction combined with more conventional characterisations such as SQUID, Atomic Force Microscopy etc. to study thin films, interfacial and surface magnetism.

The division contains the CrystallographyDisordered Materials and Large Scale structures scientific groups with diverse research interests from the biosciences through to chemical crystallography, condensed matter physics and engineering.

Sean was awarded the 2000 Philips Award in physical crystallography for outstanding published work by a young researcher and the 2003 Charles Vernon Boys Medal by the Institute of Physics for his work on the development of advanced measurement techniques for magnetic nanostructures. He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2005.

He has published over 16​0 peer reviewed publications with more than 2000 citations. For a subset of publications please visit epubs.

It is a pleasure to recognise the fruitful and enjoyable collaborations with the leading condensed matter groups within the UK and Europe.

Research and development interests

Scientific interests

One of the main themes in contemporary research in magnetism is the study of ultra thin films and multilayer heterostructures an area which can be generically called nanomagnetism. Such systems display a variety of fascinating physical properties as well as being of tremendous technological importance in hard disk media, read heads, magnetic RAM and other spintronic applications.  Here efficient spin injection and transfer across interfaces relies on low structural and magnetic disorder to prevent scattering of the electrons and loss of spin information. To extract quantitative structural and magnetic information from such buried interfaces typically several atomic layers thick is experimentally challenging. Most studies take the form of macroscopic characterisation such as magnetometry or microscopy (Lorentz, atomic force etc.) from which the underlying atomic order/behaviour is deduced. By utilising the capabilities of intense beams of neutrons and photons we have been able to observe quantitative information on a sub-nanometre length scale to provide a structural analysis and to perform quasi three dimensional magnetic microscopy.

The main aspects of the research are briefly described in the following  thematic areas.

•         Spintronic systems (inc. Organics)

•         Dilute Magnetic Semiconductors

•         Nanoscale Magnetostructural Phase Transitions

•         Artificial Spin Ice systems

•         The magnetism of the 5f electrons

•         Nanoscale superconductivity

•         Quantum fluids

Neutron Instrument and experimental techniques

SL has extensive experience of both neutron and x-ray techniques as applied to Nanomagnetic and super conducting systems. Primarily these are in the area of polarised neutron reflectivity and resonant x-ray techniques (both in real and reciprocal space). These atomic and nanoscale techniques are founded on detailed characterisation using x-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy and magnetometry.

SL was involved in the delivery of 7 instruments for the first phase of the Second target station and is the Project Sponsor for the Phase 2 project.

Professional activities: Memberships/External organisations

Visiting Professor at Durham University and the University of Leeds

Fellow of the Institute of Physics