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Title: Nanoscale spin reversal by non-local angular momentum transfer following ultrafast laser excitation in ferrimagnetic GdFeCo

Abstract

Ultrafast laser techniques have revealed extraordinary spin dynamics in magnetic materials that equilibrium descriptions of magnetism cannot explain. Particularly important for future applications is understanding non-equilibrium spin dynamics following laser excitation on the nanoscale, yet the limited spatial resolution of optical laser techniques has impeded such nanoscale studies. Here in this paper, we present ultrafast diffraction experiments with an X-ray laser that probes the nanoscale spin dynamics following optical laser excitation in the ferrimagnetic alloy GdFeCo, which exhibits macroscopic all-optical switching. Our study reveals that GdFeCo displays nanoscale chemical and magnetic inhomogeneities that affect the spin dynamics. In particular, we observe Gd spin reversal in Gd-rich nanoregions within the first picosecond driven by the non-local transfer of angular momentum from larger adjacent Fe-rich nanoregions. These results suggest that a magnetic material’s microstructure can be engineered to control transient laser-excited spins, potentially allowing faster (~ 1 ps) spin reversal than in present technologies.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [1];  [4];  [7];  [4];  [4];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [10];  [9];  [9];  [11];  [5] more »;  [12];  [13];  [4];  [4];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [13];  [5];  [5];  [5];  [4];  [3];  [3] « less
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES); Stanford Univ., CA (United States)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES); Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen (The Netherlands)
  3. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES)
  4. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)
  5. Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen (The Netherlands)
  6. Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen (The Netherlands); Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), (Germany)
  7. Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany)
  8. Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), Hamburg (Germany)
  9. PNSensor, München (Germany)
  10. Max Planck Inst. for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching (Germany)
  11. Julich Research Centre (Germany)
  12. Nihon Univ., Chiba (Japan)
  13. Federal Inst. of Technology, Zurich (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1443248
Report Number(s):
SLAC-PUB-15312
Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
Publisher:
Springer Nature - Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Graves, C. E., Reid, A. H., Wang, T., Wu, B., de Jong, S., Vahaplar, K., Radu, I., Bernstein, D. P., Messerschmidt, M., Müller, L., Coffee, R., Bionta, M., Epp, S. W., Hartmann, R., Kimmel, N., Hauser, G., Hartmann, A., Holl, P., Gorke, H., Mentink, J. H., Tsukamoto, A., Fognini, A., Turner, J. J., Schlotter, W. F., Rolles, D., Soltau, H., Strüder, L., Acremann, Y., Kimel, A. V., Kirilyuk, A., Rasing, Th., Stöhr, J., Scherz, A. O., and Dürr, H. A. Nanoscale spin reversal by non-local angular momentum transfer following ultrafast laser excitation in ferrimagnetic GdFeCo. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1038/NMAT3597.
Graves, C. E., Reid, A. H., Wang, T., Wu, B., de Jong, S., Vahaplar, K., Radu, I., Bernstein, D. P., Messerschmidt, M., Müller, L., Coffee, R., Bionta, M., Epp, S. W., Hartmann, R., Kimmel, N., Hauser, G., Hartmann, A., Holl, P., Gorke, H., Mentink, J. H., Tsukamoto, A., Fognini, A., Turner, J. J., Schlotter, W. F., Rolles, D., Soltau, H., Strüder, L., Acremann, Y., Kimel, A. V., Kirilyuk, A., Rasing, Th., Stöhr, J., Scherz, A. O., & Dürr, H. A. Nanoscale spin reversal by non-local angular momentum transfer following ultrafast laser excitation in ferrimagnetic GdFeCo. United States. doi:10.1038/NMAT3597.
Graves, C. E., Reid, A. H., Wang, T., Wu, B., de Jong, S., Vahaplar, K., Radu, I., Bernstein, D. P., Messerschmidt, M., Müller, L., Coffee, R., Bionta, M., Epp, S. W., Hartmann, R., Kimmel, N., Hauser, G., Hartmann, A., Holl, P., Gorke, H., Mentink, J. H., Tsukamoto, A., Fognini, A., Turner, J. J., Schlotter, W. F., Rolles, D., Soltau, H., Strüder, L., Acremann, Y., Kimel, A. V., Kirilyuk, A., Rasing, Th., Stöhr, J., Scherz, A. O., and Dürr, H. A. Sun . "Nanoscale spin reversal by non-local angular momentum transfer following ultrafast laser excitation in ferrimagnetic GdFeCo". United States. doi:10.1038/NMAT3597. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1443248.
@article{osti_1443248,
title = {Nanoscale spin reversal by non-local angular momentum transfer following ultrafast laser excitation in ferrimagnetic GdFeCo},
author = {Graves, C. E. and Reid, A. H. and Wang, T. and Wu, B. and de Jong, S. and Vahaplar, K. and Radu, I. and Bernstein, D. P. and Messerschmidt, M. and Müller, L. and Coffee, R. and Bionta, M. and Epp, S. W. and Hartmann, R. and Kimmel, N. and Hauser, G. and Hartmann, A. and Holl, P. and Gorke, H. and Mentink, J. H. and Tsukamoto, A. and Fognini, A. and Turner, J. J. and Schlotter, W. F. and Rolles, D. and Soltau, H. and Strüder, L. and Acremann, Y. and Kimel, A. V. and Kirilyuk, A. and Rasing, Th. and Stöhr, J. and Scherz, A. O. and Dürr, H. A.},
abstractNote = {Ultrafast laser techniques have revealed extraordinary spin dynamics in magnetic materials that equilibrium descriptions of magnetism cannot explain. Particularly important for future applications is understanding non-equilibrium spin dynamics following laser excitation on the nanoscale, yet the limited spatial resolution of optical laser techniques has impeded such nanoscale studies. Here in this paper, we present ultrafast diffraction experiments with an X-ray laser that probes the nanoscale spin dynamics following optical laser excitation in the ferrimagnetic alloy GdFeCo, which exhibits macroscopic all-optical switching. Our study reveals that GdFeCo displays nanoscale chemical and magnetic inhomogeneities that affect the spin dynamics. In particular, we observe Gd spin reversal in Gd-rich nanoregions within the first picosecond driven by the non-local transfer of angular momentum from larger adjacent Fe-rich nanoregions. These results suggest that a magnetic material’s microstructure can be engineered to control transient laser-excited spins, potentially allowing faster (~ 1 ps) spin reversal than in present technologies.},
doi = {10.1038/NMAT3597},
journal = {Nature Materials},
number = 4,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {3}
}

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