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Ciccarelli Group - Spin Physics and Devices


The group is based in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. We use a range of experimental techniques for the research on spintronics. Our facilities are placed in the Microelectronics Research Centre and the Maxwell Centre.

THz Time-Domain Spectroscopy

For a detailed description of the set-up, please click here. A Spectra-Physics Solstice ACE generates 5000 pulses per second at the central wavelength of 800 nm and with an energy of 1.6 mJ per pulse. The pulses can be used directly to pump the sample or to generate monocycle THz pulses via a ZnTe crystal. THz pulses emitted or transmitted through the sample are detected in time by electrooptic sampling in a ZnTe crystal.  A TOPAS-Prime Optical Parametric Amplifier (OPA) allows modulating the central wavelength of the pump in the 290-1160 nm range. The sample sits in a dry cryostat that allows temperature control from 7 K to 500 K. A GMW 5403 electromagnet allows applying fields up to 0.85 T in a direction perpendicular to the optical path. 


Cryofree Superconducting Vector Magnet

This is an Oxford instruments cryofree vector magnet system. The magnetic field reaches 1T in the x and y directions and 6T in the z direction.  The variable temperature insert (VTI) enables measuring in temperatures between 1.5 K and 300 K while sweeping the magnet. The sample space is accessible with both DC and microwave lines for measurements up to 40 GHz.  

Superconducting Vector Magnet

This is a Cryogenics 1T-1T-1T vector magnet in helium bath. The VTI allows temperature control from 1.5K to 300K. The sample is accessible with both DC and microwave lines for measurements up to 40 GHz.  


High field cryostat

To access higher magnetic fields, we use this Oxford Instruments cryostat at the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory. Magnetic fields up to 12 T can be reached in one direction. The temperature can be varied between 1.5 K and 300 K. The sample is accessible with both microwave and DC lines.

Room temperature set-up

This electromagnet reaches 1.2 T. Home-built sample holders mounted on a rotating stage allow rotating the sample relative to the magnetic field for both in-plane and out-of-plane rotation experiments. Microwave access to the sample is allowed via semi-rigid co-axial cables. Room temperature measurements are only possible in this set-up.

Wire Bonder

This is a F&S Bondtec Wire Bonder (53XX series) that we use to create electrical connections to our micron-size devices. The bonder is situated at the Maxwell centre and is equipped with ball and wedge bonding functionalities. Please contact Phylix Huang (rh759) for further information and training

Shared Facilities

We routinely use shared facilities, such as the Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite at the Maxwell Centre for SQUID magnetrometry or the Royce Physical Deposition and Materials Characterisation Facility for thin film deposition, or the wafer-scale AFM for surface roughness measurements.