Professor Nicola Morley
MPhys, PhD, MInstP
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Professor in Material Physics
+44 114 222 5935
Full contact details
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Nicola Morley was appointed as Lecturer to the department in May 2005 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in January 2014 and Professor in January 2019.
Her research is based in the Sheffield Centre of Advanced Magnetic Materials and Devices (SCAMMD). Previously, she was a postdoctoral research assistant in the SCAMMD group at the University of Sheffield (2003-2005).
She was awarded her PhD from the University of Durham in 2003, and graduated from the University of Oxford in 1999 with a MPhys in Physics.
- Research interests
Nicola Morley's research centres on functional magnetic materials, including the understanding and development of magnetic films to be used in magnetic devices and sensors. The main research areas are:
Fe-based Magnetostrictive Materials and Devices
Research is focused on the fabrication and characterisation of Fe-based magnetostrictive film, including Fe-Co and Fe-Ga for MEMS device applications. Fabrication techniques include a state of the art co-sputter-evaporation deposition system, RF/DC sputter system and an evaporator. A wide range of characterisation techniques are used, which include XRD, AFM/MFM, MOKE magnetometry and resistance measurements, as well as central facilities (ESRF, France, diamond, UK). The main aim of the work is to understand the relationship between the magnetostriction, microstructure and magnetisation. The work has also involved the development of magnetostrictive MEMS devices, which includes magnetostrictive actuators for structural health monitoring, magnetostrictive energy harvesters and mass MEMS sensors.
This research investigates the spin transport within organic semiconductors, including the development of room temperature organic spin-valves. The spin transport has been investigated using a range of techniques including magnetoresistance, XPS, MOKE magnetometry, AFM and muon spectroscopy. The main aims are to understand how the interfaces influence the spin transport in organic spin-valves and develop novel organic spin devices, such as the spin switch. Research has studied both lateral and vertical devices at room temperature.
This research involves studying multilayer multiferroics to investigate how the optical, electrical and magnetic properties are linked within the hetrostructures. Work has studied how the interfaces influence the overall properties of the structures. Characterisation techniques include XRD, SEM, TEM, AFM/MFM, MOKE magnetometry and electrical measurements.
Functional Magnetic Materials
This research involves investigating functional magnetic materials (magnetocaloric, soft and hard magnets and magnetostrictive) using novel techniques such as spark plasma sintering (SPS), additive layer manufacture (ALM) and thin films, to determine how the structural properties of the materials influence the functional properties. The work has included studying element substitution, high entropy alloy and materials design using computational methods.
- Lanthanum doped Zn0.5Co0.5LaxFe2 spinel ferrites synthesized via co-precipitation route to evaluate structural, vibrational, electrical, optical, dielectric, and thermoelectric properties. Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, 154.
- An investigation on the mechanical properties of soft magnetostrictive FeCoCr films by nanoindentation. Journal of Alloys and Compounds. View this article in WRRO
- Reply to: On the observation of photo-excitation effects in molecules using muon spin spectroscopy.. Nature Materials.
- Dilatational strain biplots against enthalpy of mixing for predicting high-entropy alloys and complex concentrated alloys phase stability. Materials Chemistry and Physics, 262.
- Laser additive manufacturing of Fe-based magnetic amorphous alloys. Magnetochemistry, 7(2).
- Study of dual-phase functionalisation of NiCoFeCr-Alx multicomponent alloys for the enhancement of magnetic properties and magneto-caloric effect. Materials Today Energy. View this article in WRRO
- Study of structural, optical and electrical properties of La3+ doped Mg0.25 Ni0.15 Cu0.25 Co0.35 Fe2-x Lax O4 spinel ferrites. Physica B: Condensed Matter.
- Magnetic properties of the complex concentrated alloy system CoFeNi0.5Cr0.5Alx. Scientific Reports, 10(1).
- Controllable synthesis of La3+ doped Zn0.5Co0.25Cu0.25Fe2−xLaxO4 (x = 0.0, 0.0125, 0.025, 0.0375, 0.05) nano-ferrites by sol-gel auto-combustion route. Ceramics International.
- Synthesis, crystal structure, physical and catalytic oxidation studies of a new hybrid phosphate [(N2H5)2Co(HPO4)2]. Journal of Molecular Structure. View this article in WRRO
- Influence of annealing temperature on the structural and magnetic properties of FeGaSiB thin films. Thin Solid Films. View this article in WRRO
- Design and development of magnetostrictive actuators and sensors for structural health monitoring. Sensors, 20(3). View this article in WRRO
- Influence of Ga evaporation rate on the magnetic properties of amorphous FeGaSiB thin films. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials. View this article in WRRO
- Magnetostrictive sensors for composite damage detection and wireless structural health monitoring. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, 55(7). View this article in WRRO
- Magnetostrictive Energy Harvesting: Materials and design study. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics. View this article in WRRO
- Enhancement of magnetostrictive properties of Galfenol thin films. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 451, 300-304. View this article in WRRO
- Artificial multiferroic structures using soft magnetostrictive bilayers on Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)–PbTiO3. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 51. View this article in WRRO
- Reply to “Comment on ‘Muon spin relaxation study of spin dynamics in poly(triarylamine)”’. Synthetic Metals, 234, 177-179. View this article in WRRO
- Fabrication and characterization of magnetostrictive amorphous FeGaSiB thin films. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 439, 353-357. View this article in WRRO
- Wide Field Magnetic Luminescence Imaging. Advanced Functional Materials, 27(31). View this article in WRRO
- On the correct estimation of the magnetic entropy change across the magneto-structural transition from the Maxwell relation: Study of MnCoGeBx alloy ribbons. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 694, 1189-1195. View this article in WRRO
- Temporal mapping of photochemical reactions and molecular excited states with carbon specificity.. Nature Materials, 16, 467-473. View this article in WRRO
- Optical Writing of Magnetic Properties by Remanent Photostriction. Physical Review Letters, 117(10). View this article in WRRO
- Optimization of magnetocaloric properties of arc-melted and spark plasma-sintered LaFe₁₁.₆Si₁.₄. Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, 122(8). View this article in WRRO
- Interface influence on the properties of Co 90 Fe 10 films on soft magnetic underlayers – Magnetostrictive and Mössbauer spectrometry studies. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 401, 943-948. View this article in WRRO
- Strain-mediated converse magnetoelectric coupling strength manipulation by a thin titanium layer. Applied Physics Letters, 108(1). View this article in WRRO
- Investigations of the polymer/magnetic interface of organic spin-valves. Applied Surface Science, 359, 704-713. View this article in WRRO
- Giant electric field tunable magnetic properties in a Co50Fe50/lead magnesium niobate–lead titanate multiferroic heterostructure. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 48(30), 305005-305005. View this article in WRRO
- Electric field-controlled magnetization in bilayered magnetic films for magnetoelectric memory. Journal of Applied Physics, 118(3), 034102-034102. View this article in WRRO
- Muon spin relaxation study of spin dynamics in poly(triarylamine). Synthetic Metals, 208, 21-25. View this article in WRRO
- Magnetic and Structural Characterization of NiFe/Fe30Co70 Bilayers. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, 50(11), 1-4. View this article in WRRO
- Study of the magnetic-Alq interface in organic spin-valves. Applied Surface Science. View this article in WRRO
- Influence of soft magnetic underlayers on the magnetic properties of Co
90Fe 10films. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 357, 87-92.
- Future directions of μsR - Laser excitation. Physica Scripta, 88(6).
- Pressure-induced structural and magnetic phase transitions in ordered and disordered equiatomic FeCo. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 88(18).
- Effect of the Ni
81Fe 19thickness on the magnetic properties of Ni 81Fe 19/Fe 50Co 50bilayers. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 331, 67-71. 100-xga x(10 ≤ x ≤ 35) thin films. Nukleonika, 58(1), 27-30.
Mössbauer study of vacuum annealed Fe
- Interfacial studies of polymeric spin-valve structures. Synthetic Metals.
- Editorial. Synthetic Metals, 173, 1-1.
- Study of polymer-magnetic electrode interfaces using XPS. Applied Surface Science.
- Numerical study of the effective magnetocrystalline anisotropy and magnetostriction in polycrystalline FeGa films. J APPL PHYS, 110(4).
- Erratum: Engineering spin propagation across a hybrid organic/inorganic interface using a polar layer. Nature Materials, 10(3), 252-252.
- A comparative study of the microstructural and magnetic properties of <110> textured thin polycrystalline Fe
100-xGa x(10 ≤ x ≤ 35) films. Applied Surface Science, 257(14), 5977-5983.
- Polymeric spin-valves at room temperature. Synthetic Metals, 161(7-8), 558-562.
- Effect of growth parameters on the structure and magnetic properties of thin polycrystalline Fe films fabricated on Si〈1 0 0〉 substrates. Applied Surface Science, 257(13), 5586-5590.
- Structure and magnetism in compressed iron-cobalt alloys. HIGH PRESSURE RES, 31(1), 148-152.
- Structural and magnetic ordering in Fe-Ga thin films examined by Mössbauer spectrometry. Acta Physica Polonica A, 119(1), 21-23.
- Effect of growth parameters on the structure and magnetic properties of thin polycrystalline Fe films fabricated on Si〈1 0 0〉 substrates. Applied Surface Science.
- A comparative study of the microstructural and magnetic properties of fenced(1 1 0) textured thin polycrystalline Fe100-x Ga x (10 ≤ x ≤ 35) films. Applied Surface Science.
- The Effect of Injection Layers on a Room Temperature Organic Spin Valve. IEEE T MAGN, 46(6), 1307-1310.
- An investigation of the effect of structural order on magnetostriction and magnetic behavior of Fe-Ga alloy thin films. ACTA MATER, 58(11), 4003-4011.
- An investigation of the effect of structural order on magnetostriction and magnetic behavior of Fe-Ga alloy thin films. Acta Materialia, 58(11), 4003-4011.
- Polymeric spin-valves at room temperature. Synthetic Metals.
- Engineering spin propagation across a hybrid organic/inorganic interface using a polar layer. Nature Materials.
- Structure, magnetic and magnetostrictive properties of as-deposited Fe-Ga thin films. J MAGN MAGN MATER, 321(18), 2877-2882.
- Direct measurement of the electronic spin diffusion length in a fully functional organic spin valve by low-energy muon spin rotation. NAT MATER, 8(2), 109-114.
- Development of a cosputter-evaporation chamber for Fe-Ga films. J VAC SCI TECHNOL A, 26(4), 581-586.
- Intrinsic mobility limit for anisotropic electron transport in Alq(3). PHYS REV LETT, 100(11).
- Magnetoresistance and efficiency measurements of Alq(3)-based OLEDs. PHYS REV B, 75(9).
- Anisotropies and magnetostriction constants of epitaxial Co films on GaAs(100) substrates. J PHYS-CONDENS MAT, 18(39), 8781-8789.
- MOKE hysteresis loop method of determining the anisotropy constants of ferromagnetic thin films: Fe on GaAs(100) with overlayers of Au and Cr. J MAGN MAGN MATER, 300(2), 436-444.
- Comparison between the in-plane anisotropies and magnetostriction constants of thin epitaxial Fe films grown on GaAs and Ga0.8In0.2As substrates, with Cr overlayers. J APPL PHYS, 99(8). View this article in WRRO
- In-plane anisotropics, magnetostriction and magnetoresistance of epitaxial Co films on GaAs(100) substrates. INTERMAG 2006 - IEEE International Magnetics Conference, 93.
- In-plane anisotropy and magnetostriction constants of Fe/Ga0.8In0.2As films with Cr overlayers. J PHYS-CONDENS MAT, 17(46), 7253-7262.
- Magnetostriction and magnetocrystalline anisotropy constants of ultrathin epitaxial Fe films on GaAs, with Au overlayers. J PHYS-CONDENS MAT, 17(7), 1201-1208.
- Orientation and layer thickness dependence on the longitudinal magnetization and transverse magnetization hysteresis loops of sputtered multilayer Fe/Si and Fe/Ge thin films. J PHYS-CONDENS MAT, 16(23), 4121-4129.
- The tensile property of commercial Bi2223 tapes: a report on the international round-robin test. Superconductor Science and Technology, 15(6), 888-893.
- High upper critical field in the Chevrel phase superconductor lead-molybdenum-sulphide doped with europium. IEEE Transactions on Appiled Superconductivity, 11(1), 3599-3602.
- Chevrel phase (Pb/sub 1-x/Cu/sub 1.8x/)Mo/sub 6/S/sub 8/ with a mixed structure and high critical parameters. IEEE Transactions on Appiled Superconductivity, 11(1), 3619-3622.
Conference proceedings papers
- Structural health monitoring using magnetostrictive sensors. 2018 IEEE International Magnetics Conference (INTERMAG), 23 April 2018 - 27 April 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Synthesis of magnetocaloric LaFe11.6Si1.4 alloy by spark plasma sintering. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Vol. 903 (pp 012041-012041) View this article in WRRO
- Magnetostrictive materials for aerospace applications. Journal of Physics : Conference Series, Vol. 903(1) View this article in WRRO
- Influence of Ar Pressure on the Magnetic Properties of Amorphous FeGaSiB Thin Films. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, 24 April 2017 - 28 April 2017. View this article in WRRO
- Structural Health Monitoring using magnetostrictive sensors. 2017 IEEE International Magnetics Conference (INTERMAG), 24 April 2017 - 28 April 2017.
- Measuring continuous concentration of mass pollutants in the aquatic environment. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 251
- A polymer based sensor for phosphate detection in water. 2015 IEEE SENSORS, 1 November 2015 - 4 November 2015. View this article in WRRO
- Measurement of hyperfine coupling constants of muoniated radicals in small molecule semiconductors. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Vol. 551 (pp 012042-012042) View this article in WRRO
- Mossbauer study of vacuum annealed Fe100-xGax (10 <= x <= 35) thin films. NUKLEONIKA, Vol. 58(1) (pp 27-30)
- Thickness dependence of magnetic and structural properties in Fe80Ga20 thin films. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, Vol. 107(9)
- Effect of polymer processing on spin magnetoresistance in organic structures. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, Vol. 105(7)
- Effect of a forming field on the magnetic and structural properties of thin Fe-Ga films. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, Vol. 105(7)
- Comparison of Room Temperature Polymeric Spin-Valves With Different Organic Components. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MAGNETICS, Vol. 44(11) (pp 2670-2673)
- Room temperature organic spintronics. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, Vol. 103(7)
- Magnetocrystalline anisotropies and magnetostriction of ultrathin Fe films on GaAs with Cr overlayers. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, Vol. 97(10)
- Magnetoresistance measurements on Fe/Si and Fe/Ge multilayer thin films. JOURNAL OF MAGNETISM AND MAGNETIC MATERIALS, Vol. 286 (pp 91-94)
- Hysteretic properties of epitaxial Fe/GaAs(100) ultrathin films under external uniaxial strain. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, Vol. 95(11) (pp 6555-6557)
- Professional activities
- Member of the Muon Facility Access Panel.
- Programme Chair of SpinOS 2012
- Guest Editor for Synthetic Metals special edition (2012)
- Case Study - High Entropy Alloys
High Entropy Alloys: The next big thing in soft magnetic films?
"I had been working for twelve years in academia and hit a point where I had a done a lot of teaching, research and administration. I had applied for and lost a big grant to pursue a new research area, making me realise that I needed to step back from my other duties and get back into the lab to see where this research could go, so I applied for the Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship.
"'High Entropy Alloys' are big buzzwords with the materials science field, having only been discovered a decade ago. I noticed this area was underdeveloped within my own research area of magnetic materials, with only ~10 published papers on their magnetics properties, so I saw an opportunity to tune the properties within my fellowship and found that they had stranger behaviour than I had anticipated. The fellowship allowed me to explore this new area and discover these novel properties.
"My research was productive in this year and was promoted to Professor (despite only applying to Reader level) as a direct result of my fellowship. Without this fellowship, it is likely that I would only have been promoted to a Reader position with a heavier teaching load and not as much time for lab-based research. There was also benefit for the magnetics research group as in the year and a half since my fellowship, we have brought in £2.5m of research funding, compared to only £500k in the prior five years.
"I was known in the community prior to this fellowship, but since I have been invited to more conferences and was invited to sit on the Women in Magnetism International Group. The Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship came at the right time, when my kids were old enough that I could spend more time on research and has grown my confidence, setting off more career opportunities since."
Case study from The Royal Society.