Thomas Szyjka: Early Stage Researcher (secondee)


I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Physics at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) in Germany. During my studies my main focus changed from surface physics to magnetism. In my bachelor thesis I prepared ultra-thin Indium layers on Silicon in an UHV environment and studied their surface structure with SPA-LEED. In my master thesis I studied the influence of ion irradiation on the magnetic properties of FeAl thin films using synchrotron radiation and XMCD effect. The measurements took place at the Berlin Synchrotron Radiation Source BESSY II.

After finishing my Masters, I joined Seagate Technology LLC as a Marie Curie early stage researcher on the NU-MATHIMO project. During my stay at Seagate I was trained on Deposition of magnetic materials and how to use metrology techniques like XRD, AFM, XRR, Resistivity Measurement, B-H Looper and Mokem Measurements. Having successfully completing my training on these techniques, I spent the first two months of my secondment working on the Deposition and Characterization of high moment high damping magnetic materials.

During this period I also gave preliminary training to Ryan Muldoon (Seagate Secondee to UDE) on XMCD measurement techniques which served as a basis for his secondment to UDE which commenced in April 2017.

In the following 4 months I programmed tools for an automated translation of 2D wafer-design (CAD-files) into a 3D model, which should help in future design decisions. In addition, I automated the design for waveguides which will play an important role in the future hard drive heads. Using this I created a layer for a test wafer which includes 420 waveguides.

During my secondment I gained a good understanding of how industry works and, for the case of Seagate, how processes in manufacturing can look like. As a result of the experience gained through this fellowship, I believe that this will help facilitate my transition from university to industry.