Magnetic Materials

Instructor:Olga Ushakova

Course Summary

This course covers the fundamentals of magnetism and magnetic materials. The origins of magnetism, diamagnetism, paramagnetism, crystal field environments, dipolar and exchange interactions, ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism, magnetic domains, magnetic anisotropy and magnetostriction will be discussed. Throughout the course, experimental techniques in magnetic characterization will be observed. The second part of the course will focus on magnetic materials and devices that are of technological interest (e.g., magnetoresistive and magneto-elastic materials and devices). Magnetic materials include transition metals, their alloys and oxides, rare earths and their oxides, organic and molecular magnets.

The lectures are accompanied by seminars for discussing applied problems and to obtain competencies. Tests on every topic will help students to check their level of understanding. Three learning computer programs will give students a clear view of the remagnetisation process, magnetic ordering as phase transition and help in calculation of hysteresis loops.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours in laboratoryHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this course, students will be expected to

  • to use both SI and CGS for hysteresis characteristics;
  • to use the models of magnetization and remagnetization in various cases;
  • to describe the kinetics of temporal processes in magnetic materials;
  • to calculate the contribution of magnetistatic energy, elastic energy and anisotropy in magnetic properties;
  • to solve theoretical and applied problems connected with professional activities;
  • to predict the properties of the materials on the basis of connections between composition-treatment-structure;
  • to choose materials for various applications, taking into account hysteresis properties, thermo- and magnetic stability, the cost of production;
  • to work independently with the literature and other sources in search of the necessary information.

Course Content

  • History of magnetism and magnetic materials
  • Magnetic units, concepts and terminology
  • Magnetic anisotropy and magnetostriction
  • Magnetic domains and domain structure
  • Magnetic hysteresis
  • Classification of magnetic materials
  • Main families of magnetically hard materials (Alnico, Fe-Cr-Co, Sm-Co, Nd-Fe-B, ferrites)
  • Main families of magnetically soft materials (silicon iron, Fe-Ni, Fe-Co, Fe-Al, ferrites, amorphous and nanocrystalline alloys)
  • Other magnetic materials (magneto-resistive materials, magneto-electric materials, magneto-elastic materials, materials with shape memory, materials for magnetic recording)
  • Application of magnetic materials

Reading List

Primary textbooks:

  1. Chikazumi, S. Physics of Ferromagnetism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780198517764.
  2. C.Kittel. Introduction to Solid State Physics, 8th edn. (Wiley, 2005).
  3. B. D.Cullity and C. D. Graham. Introduction to Magnetic Materials. New York, NY: Wiley-IEEE Press, 2008.
  4. N.A.Spaldin. Magnetic Materials: Fundamentals and Device Applications. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  5. J.M.D.Coey. Magnetism and Magnetic Materials. Cambridge University Press, 2010.


Class participation30%
Homework assignments20%
Final exam50%