Condensed matter: magnetism and magnetic materials

Research into the fundamental physics of magnetism and into magnetic materials. This area includes, for example, thin-film magnetism, characterisation and growth of magnetic materials, ferromagnetism, anti-ferromagnetism and frustrated magnetic systems.

A key aim is to strengthen further the already strong links with research communities in the Condensed Matter - Electronic Structure and the Spintronics areas; these enhanced links should be used to ensure that the UK secures a world-leading position in new fields, such as topological and superconducting spintronics (relating to the property of ‘spin’ in electrons) and skyrmionics (relating to exotic quasiparticles called skyrmions), which span these areas.

By the end of the current Delivery Plan period, we aim to have a community which:

  • Continues to produce high-quality research on fundamental topics in magnetism, with the aim of establishing the UK as the best place in the world to conduct research in these fields
  • Collaborates with researchers in industry and related fields to ensure that new knowledge can be applied to real-world problems such as magnetic data storage and medical diagnostics

The community should also continue to make good use of large UK facilities such as Diamond Light Source and the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, which contribute to the excellent quality of research produced in this area. Members of the Condensed Matter - Magnetism and Magnetic Materials community are major beneficiaries of these facilities, which are fundamental to the production of world-leading research that the community delivers.


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 overview report refers to a “golden age for condensed matter physics (Evidence source 1). Against this background, the UK has one of the highest success rates at the European Research Council (ERC) Condensed Matter Physics Panel (Panel 3) (Evidence source 2). With regard to industry connections, Condensed Matter - Magnetism and Magnetic Materials is linked to the strong magnetic data storage industry that exists in the UK.

The UK research community in this area has access to world-leading characterisation facilities in the UK (Diamond and ISIS), as well as facilities in Europe such as the XMaS beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble and the European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL) spanning Germany, France and the Netherlands. Access to these high-class facilities, combined with access to scientists with extensive experience of using them, ensure that this area is well-placed to deliver high-quality research, particularly in fields such as nanomagnetism where the UK is strong.

This area currently offers a good balance of training opportunities both for doctoral students and for postdoctoral research assistants.

This research area contributes to all EPSRC Outcomes and is particularly relevant to the following Ambitions:

P1: Introduce the next generation of innovative and disruptive technologies

This research area can contribute to new computing technologies that use spin rather than charge to store and process data (Evidence source 3,4).

C5: Design for an inclusive, innovative and confident digital society

This research area can contribute to new computing technologies that use spin rather than charge to store and process data (Evidence source 3,4)

R1: Achieve energy security and efficiency

This area can deliver new developments in bulk magnetics that contribute to renewable power generation.

R4: Manage resources efficiently and sustainably

This area can help provide alternatives to rare earth metals required for permanent magnets (Evidence source 5)

H4: Develop future therapeutic technologies

This research area can contribute to new diagnostic techniques through fields such as magnetic nanoparticles and hyperpolarisation, as well as medical therapies through techniques such as magnetic hyperthermia (Evidence source 3).

Research area connections

This diagram shows the top 10 connections between Research Areas within the EPSRC research portfolio. The depth of the segment relates to value of grants and the width of the segment relates to the number of grants shared by those two Research Areas. Please click to see the related Research Area rationale.

Visualising our Portfolio (VoP)
Visualising our portfolio (VoP) is a tool for users to visually interact with the EPSRC portfolio and data relationships.

EPSRC support by research area in Condensed matter: magnetism and magnetic materials (GoW)
Search EPSRC's research and training grants.

Contact Details

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: Tracey Dale
Job title: Portfolio Manager
Department: Physical Sciences
Organisation: Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council
Telephone: 01793 444582