Dr Gavin Burnell

Associate Professor r in Condensed Matter Physics

Contact Details
Room: 8.303
Telephone: +44 (0)113 343 3843
Email: g.burnell@leeds.ac.uk

Gavin is an Associate Professor in Condensed Matter Physics. From 2006 until 2011 he was an Advanced Research Fellow supported by EPSRC. After graduating from the Device Materials Group in Cambridge, before moving to Leeds and joining the group in the summer of 2006. He was promoted to Associate Professor in September 2015.

His research interests centre on understanding the physics of electron transport in materials through the fabrication and characterisation of nanoscale devices, in particular in superconducting and magnetic hybrid structures. Conventional superconductivity and ferromagnetism are generally considered competing quantum phenomena – the former associated with electron attraction in an anti-parallel spin orientation to form Cooper pairs, while the latter encourages the parallel alignment of electron spins. This mutual antagonism at the most fundamental level would appear, at first sight, to preclude the interaction of such materials for any realistic physical parameters. In practice there is, in fact, a very rich range of fascinating and novel phenomena that can be observed if the experimental difficulties can be overcome. The principal challenges are that the energy and length scales with which the experimentalist must work are small and the study of superconductors and ferromagnets in close proximity has really only begun in the last few years. At the same time, there has been a rapid increase in interest in the manipulation of electron spin in electronic structures to harness new functionality – leading to the field of spintronics.

Gavin has published over 90 articles in peer reviewed journals, including some of the first Josephson Junction measurements in magnesium diboride, superconducting spin-valve Josephson Junctions, on spin transport between carbon nanotubes and magenite thin films and more recently on proximity effects between superconductors and ferromagnets and between ferromagnets and carbon buckyballs..

In addition to presenting his work at international conferences and workshops, Gavin is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and was one of the authors of the European Superconductivity Network (SCENET) Roadmap for Superconducting Electronics. Gavin has previosuly served on the committees of both the IoP Superconductivity and Magnetism groups and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Superconductor Science and Technology.

Gavin currently has one PhD student, Nathan Satchell and one Masters by research Student, Dan Grout, and co-supervises  George Stefanou.

Former PhD Students

  • Alex Jenkins (2010 - Domain Wall Proximity Effect in Superconductor-Ferromagnetic Nanowires
  • Jim Webb (2012) - Cross Andreev Reflection in Nanoscaile Ferromagnetic-SuperconductorDevices
  • Matt Newman (2012) - Optimisation of the Electronic properties of Graphene Devices
  • Joe Batley (2015) - Spin Currents in Lateral Spin Valves
  • Dong Shi (2015) - Artificial Quasicrystal Spin Inces
  •  Priyasmita Sinha (2015) - Highly Spin Polarised Fe1-xCoxSi