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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Professor Del Atkinson, PhD

Personal web page

Professor in the Department of Physics
Sir Gareth Roberts Professor of Applied Physics, Department of Physics
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43592
Room number: PH148
Member of the Durham X-ray Centre

(email at


My research interests span academia and industry and I have collaborations working on thin-film magnetic materials, thin-film semiconductors for flexible electronics and nanocomposite pressure-sensitive inks for sensing applications, where the focus of my research is on understanding the relationship between physical structure and functional behaviour.

I am actively involved with co-ordinating and delivering undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and I enjoy science outreach that includes talks to public and schools on nanotechnology and science in society.

Prior to Durham, I worked as a postdoc at Bath University and Cardiff University, and as a research engineer in industry. Since arriving in Durham I have held an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship in Nanoscale Magnetism and Spintronics, an RCUK Fellowship in Nanoscience and was a visiting research fellow at CSIC in Madrid, Spain. Before coming to Durham my industrial work was rewarded with a BAE Systems Chair’s Gold Award for Innovation in 2000. 

About Sir Gareth Roberts

About the Sir Gareth Roberts Lecture Series

Teaching activity

L1 Foundations of Physics - Lectures on Thermodynamics

L1 Discovery Skills – Module Leader

L2 Bridge Project – Supervisor

L3 Industrial Team Project – Supervisor

L4 Research Project –Supervisor

CMP Postgraduate Course – Lectures on Nanofabrication and Presentation skills

Research interests

Magnetization processes, nanomagnetism, spintronic interactions, nanoscale lithography, pulsed field magnetometry

Research Groups

Centre for Materials Physics

  • Nanomaterials

Department of Physics

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  • Galan Gonzalez, Alejandro, Sivan, Aswathi K., Hernández Ferrer, Javier, Bowen, Leon, Di Mario, Lorenzo, Martelli, Faustino, Benito, Ana M., Maser, Wolfgang K., Chaudhry, Mujeeb Ullah, Gallant, Andrew, Zeze, Dagou A. & Atkinson, Del (2020). Cobalt-Doped ZnO Nanorods Coated with Nanoscale Metal-Organic Framework Shells for Water-Splitting Photoanodes. ACS Applied Nano Materials 3(8): 7781-7788.
  • Shcherbinin, S. V., Volchkov, S. O., Swindells, Ch., Nicholson, B., Atkinson, D. & Kurlyandskaya, G. V. (2020). Ferromagnetic Resonance of FeNi/Cu/FeNi Thin Film on Coplanar Waveguide with Operating Frequency of 1 to 20 GHz. Russian Physics Journal 63(1): 1-8.
  • Inyang, O., Rafiq, A., Swindells, C., Ali, S. & Atkinson, D. (2020). The role of low Gd concentrations on magnetisation behaviour in rare earth:transition metal alloy films. Scientific Reports 10(1): 9767.
  • Troughton,Joe & Atkinson, Del (2019). Amorphous InGaZnO and metal oxide semiconductor devices: an overview and current status. Journal of Materials Chemistry C 7(40): 12388-12414.
  • Galan-Gonzalez, Alejandro, Gallant, Andrew, Zeze, Dagou A & Atkinson, Del (2019). Controlling the growth of single crystal ZnO nanowires by tuning the atomic layer deposition parameters of the ZnO seed layer. Nanotechnology 30(30): 305602.
  • Swindells, C, Hindmarch, A. T. , Gallant, A. J. & Atkinson, D. (2019). Spin transport across the interface in ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic systems. Physical Review B 99(6): 064406.
  • Rowan-Robinson, R. M., Hindmarch, A. T. & Atkinson, D. (2018). Efficient current-induced magnetization reversal by spin-orbit torque in Pt/Co/Pt. Journal of Applied Physics 124(18): 183901.
  • Troughton, J., Downs, P., Price, R. & Atkinson, D. (2017). Densification of a-IGZO with low-temperature annealing for flexible electronics applications. Applied Physics Letters 110(1): 011903.
  • Azzawi, S., Hindmarch, A. T. & Atkinson, D. (2017). Magnetic damping phenomena in ferromagnetic thin-films and multilayers. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 50(47): 473001.
  • Rowan-Robinson, R.M., Stashkevich, A.A., Roussigne, Y., Belmeguenai, M., Cherif, S-M., Thiaville, A., Hase, T.P.A., Hindmarch, A.T. & Atkinson, D. (2017). The interfacial nature of proximity-induced magnetism and the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction at the Pt/Co interface. Scientific Reports 7(1): 16835.
  • Alcer, D & Atkinson, D (2017). The role of mesoscopic structuring on the intermixing of spin-polarised conduction channels in thin-film ferromagnets for spintronics. Nanotechnology 28(37): 375703.
  • Brandão, J., Azzawi, S., Hindmarch, A.T. & Atkinson, D. (2017). Understanding the role of damping and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction on dynamic domain wall behaviour in platinum-ferromagnet nanowires. Scientific Reports 7(1): 4569.
  • Sultan, Musaab S & Atkinson, Del (2016). Aspect-ratio dependence of magnetization reversal in cylindrical ferromagnetic nanowires. Materials Research Express 3(5): 056104.
  • Brandão, J. & Atkinson, D. (2016). Controlling the stability of both the structure and velocity of domain walls in magnetic nanowires. Applied Physics Letters 109(6): 062405.
  • Burn, D.M. & Atkinson, D. (2016). Effective pinning energy landscape perturbations for propagating magnetic domain walls. Scientific Reports 6: 34517.
  • Azzawi, S., Ganguly, A., Tokaç, M., Rowan-Robinson, R.M., Sinha, J., Hindmarch, A.T., Barman, A. & Atkinson, D. (2016). Evolution of damping in ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic thin film bilayers as a function of nonmagnetic layer thickness. Physical Review B 93(5): 054402.
  • Tokaç, M., Bunyaev, S.A., Kakazei, G.N., Schmool, D.S., Atkinson, D. & Hindmarch, A.T. (2015). Interfacial Structure Dependent Spin Mixing Conductance in Cobalt Thin Films. Physical Review Letters 115(5): 056601.
  • Dempsey, Sarah J, Szablewski, Marek & Atkinson, Del (2015). Tactile sensing in human–computer interfaces: The inclusion of pressure sensitivity as a third dimension of user input. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 232: 229-250.
  • Ganguly, Arnab, Azzawi, Sinan, Saha, Susmita, King, J. A., Rowan-Robinson, R. M., Hindmarch, A. T., Sinha, Jaivardhan, Atkinson, Del & Barman, Anjan (2015). Tunable Magnetization Dynamics in Interfacially Modified Ni81Fe19/Pt Bilayer Thin Film Microstructures. Scientific Reports 5: 17596.
  • Burn, D.M. & Atkinson, D. (2014). Control of domain wall pinning by localised focused Ga  + ion irradiation on Au capped NiFe nanowires. Journal of Applied Physics 116(20): 163901.
  • Rowan-Robinson, R.M., Hindmarch, A.T. & Atkinson, D. (2014). Enhanced electron-magnon scattering in ferromagnetic thin films and the breakdown of the Mott two-current model. Physical Review B 90(10): 104401.
  • Burn, D.M., Hase, T.P.A. & Atkinson, D. (2014). Focused-ion-beam induced interfacial intermixing of magnetic bilayers for nanoscale control of magnetic properties. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 26(23): 236002.
  • King, J.A., Ganguly, A., Burn, D.M., Pal, S., Sallabank, E.A., Hase, T.P.A., Hindmarch, A.T., Barman, A. & Atkinson, D. (2014). Local control of magnetic damping in ferromagnetic/non-magnetic bilayers by interfacial intermixing induced by focused ion-beam irradiation. Applied Physics Letters 104(24): 242410.
  • Barton, C. W., Slater, T. J. A., Rowan-Robinson, R. M., Haigh, S. J., Atkinson, D. & Thomson, T. (2014). Precise control of interface anisotropy during deposition of Co/Pd multilayers. Journal of Applied Physics 116(16): 203903.
  • Webb, Alexander J., Bloor, David., Szablewski, Marek. & Atkinson, Del. (2014). Temperature Dependence of Electrical Transport in a Pressure-Sensitive Nanocomposite. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 6(15): 12573-12580.
  • Ganguly, A., Rowan-Robinson, R.M., Haldar, A., Jaiswal, S., Sinha, J., Hindmarch, A.T., Atkinson, D. & Barman, A. (2014). Time-Domain Detection of Current Controlled Magnetization Damping in Pt/Ni81Fe19 Bilayers and Determination of Pt Spin Hall Angle. Applied Physics Letters 105(11): 112409.
  • Webb, Alexander J., Szablewski, Marek, Bloor, David, Atkinson, Del, Graham, Adam, Laughlin, Paul & Lussey, David (2013). A multi-component nanocomposite screen-printed ink with non-linear touch sensitive electrical conductivity. Nanotechnology 24(16): 165501.
  • Atkinson, D., Searle, S., Jefferies, M., Levy, J. & Cramman, H. (2013). Controlling Anisotropy of NiFe Thin Films During Deposition for Device Applications. Sensor Letters 11(1): 13-20.
  • Hari, M., Wang, K., Bending, S.J., Arac, E., Atkinson, D., Lepadatu, S., Claydon, J.S. & Marrows, C.H. (2013). Current-driven domain wall motion in artificial magnetic domain structures. Journal of the Korean Physical Society 62(10): 1534-1538.
  • Burn, D.M., Arac, E. & Atkinson, D. (2013). Magnetization switching and domain-wall propagation behavior in edge-modulated ferromagnetic nanowire structures. Physical Review B 88(10): 104422.
  • Burn, D.M. & Atkinson, D. (2013). Suppression of Walker breakdown in magnetic domain wall propagation through structural control of spin wave emission. Applied Physics Letters 102(24): 242414.
  • Sultan, Musaab S., Das, Bipul, Mandal, Kalyan & Atkinson, Del (2012). Magnetic field alignment of template released ferromagnetic nanowires. Journal of Applied Physics 112(1): 013910.
  • Wang, Y., Shi, W. H., Wei, H. X., Atkinson, D., Zhang, B. S. & Han, X. F. (2012). Manipulation of magnetization reversal of Ni81Fe19 nanoellipse arrays by tuning the shape anisotropy and the magnetostatic interactions. Journal of Applied Physics 111(7): 07B909.
  • Cramman, H., Eastwood, D.S., King, J.A. & Atkinson, D. (2012). Multilevel 3 Bit-per-cell Magnetic Random Access Memory Concepts and Their Associated Control Circuit Architectures. IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology 11(1): 63-70.
  • Arac, E., Burn, D.M., Eastwood, D.S., Hase, T.P.A. & Atkinson, D. (2012). Study of focused-ion-beam–induced structural and compositional modifications in nanoscale bilayer systems by combined grazing incidence x ray reflectivity and fluorescence. Journal of Applied Physics 111(4): 044324.
  • Eastwood, D.S., King, J.A., Bogart, L.K., Cramman, H. & Atkinson, D. (2011). Chirality-dependent domain wall pinning in a multinotched planar nanowire and chirality preservation using transverse magnetic fields. Journal of Applied Physics 109(1): 013903.
  • Abes, M, Atkinson, D, Tanner, BK, Charlton, TR, Langridge, S, Hase, TPA, Ali, M, Marrows, CH, Hickey, BJ, Neudert, A, Hicken, RJ, Arena, D, Wilkins, SB, Mirone, A & Lebegue, S (2010). Spin polarization and exchange coupling of Cu and Mn atoms in paramagnetic CuMn diluted alloys induced by a Co layer. Physical Review B 82(18): 184412.
  • Hickey, M.C. Ngo, D.-T. Lepadatu, S. Atkinson, D. , McGrouther, D. McVitie, S. & Marrows, C.H. (2010). Spin-transfer torque efficiency measured using a Permalloy nanobridge. Applied Physics Letters 97(20): 202505.
  • Bogart, L.K., Atkinson, D. , O'Shea, K. McGrouther, D. & McVitie, S. (2009). Dependence of domain wall pinning potential landscapes on domain wall chirality and pinning site geometry in planar nanowires. Physical Review B 79(5): 054414.
  • Lepadatu, S., Vanhaverbeke, A., Atkinson, D., Allenspach, R. & Marrows, C.H. (2009). Dependence of domain-wall depinning threshold current on pinning profile. Physical Review Letters 102(12): 127203.
  • Atkinson, D. , Eastwood, D.S. & Bogart, L.K. (2008). Controlling Domain Wall Pinning in Planar Nanowires by Selecting Domain Wall Type and its Application in a Memory Concept. Applied Physics Letters 92(2): 022510.
  • Bogart, L.K., Eastwood, D.S. & Atkinson, D. (2008). The effect of geometrical confinement and chirality on domain wall pinning behavior in planar nanowires. Journal of applied physics 104(3): 033904.
  • F. Nasirpouri, A. Nougaret, D. Atkinson, M. Ghorbani & A Iraji zad (2006). Itinerant electron transport in microscopically inhomogeneous magnetic fields. Journal of magnetism and magnetic materials 299(2): 356-361.
  • Bryan M. T., Atkinson D. & Allwood D. A. (2006). Multimode switching induced by a transverse field planar magnetic nanowires. Applied Physics Letters 88(3): 032505.
  • Buchanan, James D. R., Cowburn, Russell P., Jausovec, Ana-Vanessa, Petit, Dorothée, Seem, Peter, Xiong, Gang, Atkinson, Del, & Fenton, Kate, Allwood, Dan A. and Bryan, Matthew T. (2005). Forgery: `Fingerprinting' documents and packaging. Nature 436: 475-.
  • Allwood DA, Xiong G, Faulkner CC, Atkinson D, Petit D & Cowburn RP (2005). Magnetic Domain-wall Logic. Science 309: 1688-1692.
  • Atkinson, D. & Cowburn, R.P. (2005). Pulsed-field and heat-assisted magnetization switching behaviour in elongated sub-micrometer Permalloy structures. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 290: 165-167.
  • Heyderman, L. J., Solak, H.H., David, C., Atkinson, D., Cowburn, R. P. & Nolting, F. (2004). Arrays of nanoscale magnetic dots: Fabrication by x-ray interference lithography and characterization. Applied Physics Letters 85(21): 4989-4991.
  • Faulkner, Colm C., Cooke, Michael D., Allwood, Dan A., & Petit, Dorothée, Atkinson, Del and Cowburn, Russell P. (2004). Artificial domain wall nanotraps in Ni81Fe19 wires. Journal of Applied Physics 95: 6717-6719.
  • Allwood, D. A., Xiong, Gang, Cooke, M. D., Faulkner, C. & C., Atkinson, D. and Cowburn, R. P. (2004). Characterization of submicrometer ferromagnetic NOT gates. Journal of Applied Physics 95: 8264-8270.
  • Vernier, N., Allwood, D. A., Atkinson, D., Cooke, M. D., & and Cowburn, R. P. (2004). Domain wall propagation in magnetic nanowires by spin-polarized current injection. Europhysics Letters 65: 526-532.
  • Bryan, M. T., Atkinson, D. and Cowburn, R. P. (2004). Experimental study of the influence of edge roughness on magnetization switching in Permalloy nanostructures. Applied Physics Letters 85: 3510-.
  • Atkinson, D. & Cowburn, R.P. (2004). Heat-assisted magnetization switching in elongated submicrometer Permalloy structures. Applied Physics Letters 85: 1386-.
  • Petit D, Atkinson D, Johnston S, Wood D & Cowburn RP (2004). Room Temperature Performance Of Submicron Bismuth Hall Probes. IEE Proceedings-science Measurement And Technology 151(2): 127-130.
  • Cooke, M. D., Atkinson, D., Hibbert, M., Xiong, G., & Allwood, D. A. and Cowburn, R. P. (2003). Comparison of simple low-energy ion sources for direct deposition of submicron structures. Nanotechnology 14: 416-422.
  • Faulkner CC, Allwood DA, Cooke MD, Xiong G, Atkinson D & Cowburn RP (2003). Controlled Switching Of Ferromagnetic Wire Junctions By Domain Wall Injection. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 39: 2860-2862.
  • Atkinson D, Allwood DA, Faulkner CC, Xiong G, Cooke MD & Cowburn RP (2003). Magnetic Domain Wall Dynamics In A Permalloy Nanowire. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 39: 2663-2665.
  • Atkinson D., Allwood D. A., Xiong G., Cooke M. D., Faulkner C. C. & Cowburn R. P. (2003). Magnetic domain-wall dynamics in a submicrometre ferromagnetic structure. Nature Materials 2(2): 85-87.
  • Cooke, M. D., Allwood, D. A., Atkinson, D., Xiong, G., & Faulkner, C. C. and Cowburn, R. P. (2003). Thin single layer materials for device application. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 257: 387-396.
  • Cowburn, Russell P., Allwood, Daniel A., Xiong, Gang, & Atkinson, Del and Cooke, Michael D. (2002). Memory effect and logic operation in L-shaped magnetic nanostructures. APS Meeting Abstracts 15003-.
  • Allwood, D. A., Vernier, N., Xiong, Gang, Cooke, M. D., & Atkinson, D., Faulkner, C. C. and Cowburn, R. P. (2002). Shifted hysteresis loops from magnetic nanowires. Applied Physics Letters 81: 4005-4007.
  • Allwood, D. A., Xiong, G., Cooke, M. D., Faulkner, C. C., Atkinson, D., Vernier, N. & Cowburn, R. P. (2002). Submicrometer ferromagnetic NOT gate and shift register. Science 296(5575): 2003-2006.
  • Atkinson, D., Allwood, D. A., Cooke, M. D. and Cowburn, & R. P. (2001). Nanosecond pulsed field magnetization reversal in thin-film NiFe studied by Kerr effect magnetometry. Journal of Physics D Applied Physics 34: 3019-3023.
  • Barandiaran JM, Gutierrez J, Garcia-arribas A, Squire PT & Atkinson D (2000). Magnetoelastic Coupling Constant Of Amorphous Ferromagnetic Alloys - A Critical Study. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 36: 3241-3243.
  • Sánchez, M.L., Squire, P.T. & Atkinson, D. (1999). ΔE effect in amorphous microwires and fibres. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 195: 362-365.
  • Gutiérrez, J., Atkinson, D., Squire, P. T. and Barandiarán, & J. M. (1999). Domain wall motion influence on the magnetoimpedance effect. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 196: 169-170.
  • Atkinson, D. & Squire, P.T. (1998). Phenonemological model for magnetoimpedance in soft ferromagnets. Journal of Applied Physics 83: 6569-6571.
  • Atkinson D & Squire PT (1997). Experimental And Phenomenological Investigation Of The Effect Of Stress On Magneto-impedance In Amorphous Alloys. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 33: 3364-3366.
  • Pearson J, Squire PT & Atkinson D (1997). Which Anhysteretic Magnetization Curve? Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 33: 3970-3972.
  • Hašlar, V., Závěta, K., Kraus, L., Atkinson, D., Squire, P. & T. and Gibbs, M. R. J. (1996). A magnetoelastic study of a transverse creep-induced magnetic anisotropy in an FeNb-based amorphous alloy. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 153: 63-74.
  • Atkinson, D. & Duhaj, P. (1996). Magnetoelastic behaviour of amorphous bimetallic ribbons. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 157: 156-158.
  • Atalay, S., Squire, P. T., Atkinson, D. and Hogsdon, S. & N. (1996). Magnetoelastic properties of annealed Co72.5Si12.5B15 amorphous wires. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 157: 145-146.
  • Atkinson, D., Squire, P.T. & Atalay, S. (1996). The effect of annealing and crystallization on the magnetoelastic properties of Co-Si-B amorphous wires. Journal of Applied Physics 79: 1664-1669.
  • García-Arribas, A., Squire, P. T., Hogsdon, S. N., & Atkinson, D., Barandiarán, J. M. and Gutiérez, J. (1995). Comparison of magnetoelastic resonance and vibrating reed measurements of the large ΔE effect in amorphous alloys. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 140: 273-274.
  • Squire, P.T. & Atkinson, D. (1995). Domain structure observations of as-cast and annealed iron-based amorphous wires. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 140: 1901-1902.
  • Atkinson D, Beach RS, Squire PT, Platt CL & Hogsdon SN (1995). Magneto-impedance And Delta-e Measurements Of Iron-based And Cobalt-based Amorphous Wires. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 31: 3892-3894.
  • Squire PT, Atkinson D & Atalay S (1995). Magnetostrictive And Magnetoelastic Properties Of Rapidly Quenched Wire. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 31: 1239-1248.
  • Squire, P.T., Hogsdon, S.N. & Atkinson, D. (1995). The use of high-resolution ΔE measurements to study domain processes in soft ferromagnets. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 140: 1913-1914.
  • Squire, P. T., Atkinson, D., Gibbs, M. R. J. and Atalay, & S. (1994). Amorphous wires and their applications. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 132: 10-21.
  • Hogsdon SN, Squire PT & Atkinson D (1994). Design Of A Digitally Based Delta-epsilon Measurement System. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 30: 4569-4571.
  • Hogsdon SN, Squire PT & Atkinson D (1994). Domain-structure Studies By Means Of High-resolution Delta-epsilon Measurements. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 30: 4803-4805.
  • Atkinson D & Squire PT (1994). Engineering Magnetostriction Measurements Of Annealed Fesib Amorphous Wires. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 30: 4782-4784.
  • Atkinson, D., Squire, P. T., Gibbs, M. R. J. and Hogsdon, & S. N. (1994). Implications of magnetic and magnetoelastic measurements for the domain structure of FeSiB amorphous wires. Journal of Physics D Applied Physics 27: 1354-1362.
  • Atkinson, D., Gibbs, M. R. J., Squire, P. T. and & Pankhurst, Q. (1994). The magnetic and magnetoelastic properties of surface crystallized iron-based amorphous wire. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 131: 19-28.
  • Atkinson D, Squire PT, Gibbs MRJ & Yamasaki J (1993). High-resolution Delta-e Measurements Of Fe-si-b Amorphous Wire. Ieee Transactions On Magnetics 29: 3478-3480.
  • Atkinson, D., Squire, P. T., Gibbs, M. R. J., Atalay, S., & and Lord, D. G. (1993). The effect of annealing and crystallization on the magnetoelastic properties of Fe-Si-B amorphous wire. Journal of Applied Physics 73: 3411-3417.
  • Piper, J. D. A., Atkinson, D., Norris, S. and Thomas, S. (1991). Palaeomagnetic study of the Derbyshire lavas and intrusions, central England: definition of Carboniferous apparent polar wander. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 69: 37-55.

Conference Proceeding

  • M.T. Bryan, D. Atkinson & R.P. Cowburn (2005). Edge roughness and coercivity in magnetic nanostructures. Fifth International Conference on Fine Particle Magnetism, London, Institute of Physics Publishing.
  • D. Atkinson & JA King (2005). Fine particle magnetic mineralogy of archaeological ceramics. fifth International Conference on Fine Particle Magnetism, London, Institute of Physics Publishing.
  • D Atkinson (2005). Patterning nanostructures to study magnetization processes. Fifth International Conference on Fine Particle Magnetism, London, Institute of Physics Publishing.

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