Ongoing Projects

FWF – Vladimir

Project Lead: Claas Abert
Lifetime: 2021-2025

Scientific Aims:


Computational micromagnetics has a long history as a valuable tool for the theoretical investigation of magnetic systems at the micron scale. While first micromagnetic computations in the 1960ties were performed on small two-dimensional systems with only a few degrees of freedom, the enormous increase of computing power and the development of improved numerical algorithms has led to a broad landscape of micromagnetic codes that are capable of handling millions of degrees of freedom in a reasonable time. Despite these advances, today’s micromagnetic simulations are still restricted to the micron sized systems since the micromagnetic model calls for a very fine spatial discretization in the single-digit nanometer regime.

Within this project, we aim to significantly push the boundaries of size restrictions and simulation speed by introducing algorithms that are particularly suited for distributed computations and by relying on software frameworks that a specialized on the handling of large amounts of data. Namely, we will implement the parallel-in-time integration scheme parareal which has already proved to lead to significant computational speedups in other scientific disciplines. In another subproject we will exploit the capabilities of modern finite-element libraries to implement a distributed higher-order micromagnetic code suited for high-performance computational clusters. In the third subproject, we will use the highly optimized tensor library TensorFlow to implement a novel finite-difference formulation to be solved on graphics processing units. This novel formulation will allow for the rigorous and accurate description of composite materials which will be particularly beneficial for the simulation of granular media as used in numerous magnetic applications. Combining the findings of the individual subprojects will lead to further performance enhancements.

For a long time, the evolution of computing power was driven by increasing processor clock speed. Due to physical limitations, this increase stopped in recent years leading to a stagnating performance of serial codes. Since then, exploiting parallel computing architectures has become a crucial task for the development of scientific software. Bringing established techniques for distributed computing from various scientific disciplines to micromagnetic simulation tools will significantly advance the field of largescale micromagnetic computations and will pave the way to realistic macroscopic simulations.



Lifetime: 2021-2025

  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Suess, Physics of Functional Materials, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Dr. Sofia Kantorovich, University of Vienna
Scientific Aims:

In this project we aim at investigating the behavior of magnetic colloids in fluid and gel carriers in AC magnetic fields, by means of computer simulations, in order to, on the one hand, shed light on the fundamental interplay between the shape and type of colloidal particle acting magnetic, mechanical and hydrodynamic forces and resulting dynamic magnetic response; on the other hand, to find the most efficient magneto-controllable systems for applications in hyperthermia. These questions are forming the front edge of the modern research in magnetic soft matter, however to answer them, one needs a qualitatively new approach that will consider both particle intrinsic magnetization dynamics and their spatial diffusion/self-assembly.

SAM project brings together two experts in two different fields, to merge the field of molecular dynamics of magnetic colloids with the field of thermally activated micromagnetics. The output of this synergy will be a self-consistent solution of the Langevin equations of motion for magnetic colloids combined with magnetization dynamics of individual particles in both liquid and gel carries at finite temperature. Such an approach can be constructed due to the unique combination of expertise of the PI and the National Research Partner: coarse-grained molecular dynamic simulations of magnetic soft matter (PI) and micromagnetics (National Research Partner).

FWF - MagFunc

Lifetime: 10.2020-9.2024

  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Suess, Physics of Functional Materials, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Dr. Andrii Chumak, PD Dr. Oleksandr Dobrovolskiy, Dr. Qi Wang, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Dr. Vincent Vlaminck, Dr. Vincent Castel, Institut Mines-Télécom Atlantique, Brest, France
  • Dr. Yves Henry, Dr. Matthieu Bailleul, Dr. Ricardo Hertel, Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
Scientific Aims:

Our project, Non-Reciprocal 3D Architectures for Magnonic Functionalities, focuses specifically on the investigation of novel non-reciprocal magnon phenomena in 2D and 3D hybrid architectures at the nanoscale and contributes directly to the development of non-reciprocal microwave devices and sensors. 

In order to advance in the direction of magnonic devices, we plan to employ a complete and multidisciplinary approach encompassing finite element micromagnetic simulations combined with analytical models to find architectures with the targeted phenomena. These architectures will allow us to develop the aforementioned non-reciprocal microwave devices and sensors. These will be fabricated using state of the art nano-patterning methods in a clean room environment and will be measured via different complementary experimental techniques such as optical spectroscopy and propagating spin-wave spectroscopy at room and low temperatures. 

Studies of structure and dynamics of liquid magnets by SAXS and SANS

Project Lead: Jürgen Klepp
Lifetime: 2020-2022

  • Jürgen Klepp, University of Vienna
  • Alenka Mertelj, Institut Jozef Stefan, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Scientific Aims:

The existence of polar, i.e. ferromagnetic or ferroelectric ordering, in dipolar liquids has been a long-standing open question. Some of the models predicted it some not. The main issue is that appropriate nearest neighbours’ positional and orientational correlations are crucial for the appearance of the polar phase and are difficult to predict correctly. Recently, it has been shown that in a special kind of ferrofluids, made of magnetic nanoplatelets suspended in alcohols above a certain volume fraction a ferromagnetic nematic phase appears. These ferrofluids are therefore liquid magnets and they are sensitive to very small magnetic fields. They present a unique model system, in which positional and magnetic correlations between the constituents can be studied, which are crucial for the existence of the ferromagnetic phase. The aim of this proposal is to join the expertise of the Slovenian research group at Institut Jozef Stefan in design and properties of liquid magnets with that of the Austrian research group at University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics on using SAXS and SANS for studies of the microstructure of materials.

ASSIC Austrian Smart Systems Integration Research Center

Project Lead: Dieter Suess
Lifetime: 1.2019-12.2022

  • ASSIC Austrian Smart Systems Integration Research Center
Scientific Aims:

The research activities of ASSIC Austrian Smart Systems Integration Research Center focus on intelligent system integration based on micro- and nanotechnologies. With its research activities, ASSIC offers sound system knowledge about components, technologies, materials, assembly and interconnection technologies.

ASSIC focuses on three research areas:

Microsystem Technologies: with a focus on the development of acoustic and magnetic micro components and technologies as well as on the associated manufacturing processes.

Heterogeneous Integration Technologies: comprises the research of functional packaging, assembly and interconnection technologies for micro-electro-mechanical system components, trendsetting thin-film packaging technologies and the integration of subsystems at chip level in micro modules.

Smart Systems Solutions: for the integration of functional modules into innovative photonic measurement systems, as well as for the development of necessary design methods and technologies.

Multiscale Simulations of Power Loss of MHz Soft Magnets

Project Lead: Dieter Suess, Claas Abert
Lifetime: 7.2020-6.2022

  • Huawei RDA
Scientific Aims:

This project aims to investigate and optimize two dominant loss mechanisms in soft magnetic composites (SMC), namely hysteresis losses and eddy-currents losses. Advanced multiscale simulation techniques will be developed and applied in order to understand the influence of material parameters and geometry on these loss mechanism. This will enable the optimization of the granular core materials for MHz power applications.

ASTC – Recording consortium

Project Lead: Dieter Suess
Lifetime: 2011-2020

  • Western Digital
  • Seagate
  • HGST a Western Digital Company

Scientific Aims:

Within the research proposal various media design will be investigated concerning the potential for BPM and granular recording using heat assisted recording. The potential of shingled magnetic recording and center recording will be investigated. Furthermore pulsed magnetic recording, where the laser pulse is applied only for 100 ps or shorter is compared with continuous laser heating, where the laser power is switched on constantly.

Device Model for Wheel Sensors

Project Lead: Dieter Suess
Lifetime: 2017-2020

  • Frauscher
Scientific Aims:

Within this project, inductive railway sensors are investigated and optimized that are used to run, monitor and protect  operational reailway network. 

Finished Projects

Christian Doppler Laboratory – Amsen

Project Lead: Dieter Suess
Lifetime: 7.2013-6.2020

  • Infineon AG
  • Magnetfabrik Bonn
  • Donauuniversität Krems
Scientific Aims:

Within this project we aim to apply advanced simulation techniques for the development and design of new sensor devices for the automotive industry, which are also applicable for bio application. This project which involves world renowned experts in micromagnetics and Infineon, the world market leader in semiconductor based sensors will lead to the unique opportunity to solve the challenging problem of computer aided design and development of large scale semiconductor-based magnetic sensors.

The applicant’s micromagnetic simulation software FEMME is used by major companies worldwide for the optimization of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) read heads in hard disc drive systems. The application of this software tool for the design of magnetic sensors for automotive industry and bio application is far from obvious and it is a very challenging task. The challenge is that the involved lateral dimensions in this new application area are at least by a factor 10 larger. This increases the number of unknowns for 3D simulation by a factor of 1000. Hence, innovative and new modeling concepts have to be developed in order to succeed with this task.

The work of this proposal brings together Austrian expert groups which are world leaders in their field. This interplay between simulation and experiments is believed to be the key success factor of this project. This combined effort will be used to optimize existing sensors, to solve performance issues, and to develop new designs for improved sensing.

Magnetic measurement with absolute single micron accuracy (MASMA)

Project Lead: Dieter Suess
Lifetime: 5.2019-5.2020

  • BOGEN Electronic GmbH, Germany
  • INESC Microsystems and Microtechnology, Portugal
Scientific Aims:
  • to bring a new magnetic measurement solution with high accuracy
  • to improve BOGEN’s position in the magnetic measurement market
  • to increase the turnover and create new jobs

Structure and dynamics of interfaces in ferroic materials

Project Lead: Wilfried Schranz
Lifetime: 1.2016-12.2019

Project Homepage

  • Michael A. Carpenter (Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Francesco Cordero (CNR-ISC, Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Rome, Italy)
  • Joke Hadermann (Electron Microscopy for Materials Science, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Lukas Eng (Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Angewandte Photophysik, Dresden, Germany)
  • Jirka Hlinka, Vaclav Janovec (Department of Dielectrics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, CR)
  • Christoph Meingast (Institut für Festkörperphysik, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany)
  • Ztravko Kutnjak (F5 Condensed Matter Physics, Institute Jozef Stefan, Ljubljana, Slovenia)


Scientific Aims:

Currently there is an exciting change in the way how materials properties are approached. Previously, scientists have treated the structure as homogeneous but increasingly they are considering the alternative paradigm where the local structure is different from the apparent average symmetry. In fact in many materials with superior properties (giant piezoelectrics near morphotropic phase boundaries, materials for ferroic cooling, relaxors, high-Tc superconductors, etc.) the properties of the crystals seem to become dominated by a combination of both the domains and the domain boundaries. Although some excellent work has already been done, there are many open questions concerning the way how the macroscopic properties of materials are controlled by the functionality of interfaces like twin walls, phase fronts, etc.

Understanding the structure, static properties and dynamic behaviour of interfaces is the central topic of the present project. The aim is to link local and average structures across different length scales and to clarify their influence on the macroscopic properties of the materials.

We are targeting on the following major aims:

  • Investigate symmetry of domain twins, related symmetry allowed displacements and corresponding order parameter couplings to calculate profiles and functional properties within domain walls of finite thickness.
  • Study the role of functional domain walls on the macroscopic properties of materials. What is the role of domain miniaturisation on superior materials properties?
  • Investigate dynamics of domain walls to shed light onto the question: “Is domain freezing a glass transition?” Can it be described in the frame of glass – theory?

We feel that most of these problems – although they are posed for quite different systems - are intimately related since they share many common features. Thus solving questions on one topic (e.g. domain wall motion in perovskites) will help to better understand the behaviour of other systems (e.g. giant electromechanical response in relaxors, etc.). Many of the findings of the project are expected to have eminent implications for a basis of designing novel functional materials with superior properties.

Reflection gratings for neutrons based on nanocomposite materials

Project Lead: Jürgen Klepp
Lifetime: 2018-2019

  • Irena Drevensek-Olenik, University of Ljubljana
  • Jozef Stefan Institut, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Scientific Aims:

Neutron interferometry with three perfect-crystal slabs in Laue geometry (triple-Laue, or LLL) is a tool especially suited for investigation of fundamental physics questions. Unfortunately, with its thick-crystal components, at least half of the intensity is lost at the second slab because the diffrac­tion efficiency (reflectivity) is rapidly oscillating as a function of angle of incidence. Thus, in most cases, only an averaged, smeared-out rocking curve (reflectivity vs incident angle) can be ob­served with a realistic beam divergence. A possible workaround to this intrinsic intensity-loss prob­lem could be to employ Bragg-geometry for some or all of the interferometer components. Instead of LLL-, one could construct LBL (Laue-Bragg-Laue) interferometers. The Bragg-geometry's major advantage is that its reflectivity shows a so-called Darwin-plateau: The reflectivity might reach unity and be constant in a relatively wide neighborhood of the Bragg angle. 

In recent years, we have put forward nanocomposite materials as complementary approach to de­velop neutron-optical devices for cold and very cold neutrons. The proposed project is dedicated to proof-of-principle experiments to show that artificial, non-crystalline grating structures -- optically recorded in nanocomposite materials -- can work in Bragg-geometry for neutron diffraction.

FWF – DACH project

Project Lead: Dieter Suess
Lifetime: 1.2016-12.2018

  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Albrecht, University of Augsburg
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Hug, Empa Dübendorf
Scientific Aims:

Heat-assisted recording (HAMR) combined with bit-patterned media (BPM) is one of the candidate technologies to overcome present limits in magnetic recording and to possibly extend magnetic recording to storage densities of several tens of Tb/in2. BMP are required to reduce the transition jitter noise that would be present in granular recording media, where the bit transitions are invariably irregular given that each bit requires about 30 irregular magnetic grains of the recording media. To ensure stability of the magnetic information over time, high anisotropy is engineered, which gives rise to a large coercivity. In turn heat assistance is necessary to raise the temperature during writing thereby reducing the medium coercivity to levels that can be written. However, elevated temperatures also lower the magnetization which substantially increases thermally induced recording errors. One of the co-applicants (D. Suess) has proposed a composite media structure, consisting of two exchange-coupled layers with different Curie temperatures, to overcome the above limitations.

The goal of the project addresses a novel exchange-coupled composite Curie temperature modulated bilayer system for HAMR/BPM. Unique experimental methods are available in the two experimental groups with a thorough background in magnetic thin film research. The experimental work will be supported by a theory group having a long-standing experience in the field of magnetic recording systems.

WWTF Project “Mathematik und…” – Thermally controlled magnetization dynamics

Project Lead: Dieter Suess
Liftetime: 1.2015-9.2018

  • Prof. Dirk Praetorius, Institute for Analysis and Scientific Computing
  • Dr. Thomas Schrefl, Donauuniversität Krems
Scientific Aims:

The main objectives of the project is to develop mathematically reliable, numerically stable, and computationally effective FEM integrators for the simulation of thermally driven magnetization dynamics at the mesoscale. This includes to implement a FEM integrator for thermally driven magnetization dynamics for production runs on massively parallel hardware architectures. The achieved results and derived implementations will be validated with real-life data provided by, Seagate Technology. With the techniques and developed simulation tools, we will provide computational guidelines for the design of composite magnetic structures for future ultra-high storage devices.

SFB – ViCoM „Vienna Computational Materials Laboratory“

Lifetime: 6.2010-5.2018

  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Suess, Physics of Functional Materials, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Kresse, Georg,University of Vienna Computational Materials Physics
  • Prof. Held, Karsten, Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Solid State Physics
  • Prof. Verstraete, Frank, University of Vienna Quantum Optics, Quantum Nanophysics & Quantum Information
  • Prof. Burgdörfer, Joachim Vienna University of Technology Institute of Theoretical Physics
  • Prof. Mauser, Norbert J., University of Vienna Department of Mathematics & Wolfgang Pauli Institute (WPI), Vienna
  • Prof. Blaha, Peter, Vienna University of Technology Institute of Materials Chemistry
  • Prof. Mohn, Peter Vienna University of Technology Institute of Applied Physics
  • Prof. Podloucky, Raimund, University of Vienna, Physical Chemistry
  • Prof. Dellago, Christoph, University of Vienna, Compuational Physics
  • Prof. Likos, Christos N. University of Vienna Compuational Physics
  • Prof. Boeri, Lilia, Graz University of Technology Institute of Theoretical and Computational Physics
  • Prof. Andergassen, Sabine, Universität Tübingen, Institut für Theoretische Physik



Scientific Aims:

The “Spezialforschungsbereich Vienna Computational Materials Laboratory” (“SFB ViCoM”) is a Special Research Area on Computational Materials Science (Project Number: “Spezialforschungsbereich F41”), funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and managed mainly by researchers of the University of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology.

The research of the Vienna Computational Materials Laboratory will mainly focus on an improved description of electronic correlation in solids. The newly developed methods will be applied to cutting-edge materials research using state-of-the-art multi scale methods. The total funding of the Vienna Computational Materials Laboratory for the first 4 years amounts to 3.9 million euros.

Neutron polarizers based on polymer-nanoparticle composites

Project Lead: Jürgen Klepp
Lifetime: 2016-2017

  • Martin Copic, Jozef Stefan Institut, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Scientific Aims:

We aim at demonstrating that polymer structures can be loaded with ferromagnetic/superparamagnetic NP species to obtain optical elements that work as polarizing beamsplitter for CN and VCN instrumentation. Nanotechnology, i.e. methods associated with this term, has become standard lab-technology. Surprisingly, it has found little appreciation in neutron optics. We intend to take advantage of the many interesting features of nanocomposite materials and apply them to the field of neutron optics. We emphasize the prospects of our ideas for neutron scattering instruments relying on cold neutrons. A business-card-size polarizing beamsplitter implemented in a small electromagnet can easily be included in the set-up of existing SANS instruments. Such an add-on would promptly expand the applicability of instruments so far not equipped with polarized-neutron options to a much wider range of scientific questions.