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Title: Is perpendicular magnetic anisotropy essential to all-optical ultrafast spin reversal in ferromagnets?

Abstract

All-optical spin reversal presents a new opportunity for spin manipulations, free of a magnetic field. Most of all-optical-spin-reversal ferromagnets are found to have a perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA), but it has been unknown whether PMA is necessary for spin reversal. Here we theoretically investigate magnetic thin films with either PMA or in-plane magnetic anisotropy (IMA). Our results show that spin reversal in IMA systems is possible, but only with a longer laser pulse and within a narrow laser parameter region. Spin reversal does not show a strong helicity dependence where the left- and right-circularly polarized light lead to the identical results. By contrast, the spin reversal in PMA systems is robust, provided both the spin angular momentum and laser field are strong enough while the magnetic anisotropy itself is not too strong. This explains why experimentally the majority of all-optical spin-reversal samples are found to have strong PMA and why spins in Fe nanoparticles only cant out of plane. It is the laser-induced spin–orbit torque that plays a key role in the spin reversal. Surprisingly, the same spin–orbit torque results in laser-induced spin rectification in spin-mixed configuration, a prediction that can be tested experimentally. Our results clearly point out thatmore » PMA is essential to spin reversal, though there is an opportunity for in-plane spin reversal.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute, IN (United States). Dept. of Physics
  2. Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute, IN (United States). Office of Information Technology
  3. Univ. of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO (United States). Office of the Chancellor and Center for Nanoscience, Depts. of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Physics & Astronomy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1523409
Grant/Contract Number:  
[FG02-06ER46304; AC02-05CH11231]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physics. Condensed Matter
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 42]; Journal ID: ISSN 0953-8984
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY

Citation Formats

Zhang, G. P., Bai, Y. H., and George, Thomas F. Is perpendicular magnetic anisotropy essential to all-optical ultrafast spin reversal in ferromagnets?. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/aa83c6.
Zhang, G. P., Bai, Y. H., & George, Thomas F. Is perpendicular magnetic anisotropy essential to all-optical ultrafast spin reversal in ferromagnets?. United States. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/aa83c6.
Zhang, G. P., Bai, Y. H., and George, Thomas F. Fri . "Is perpendicular magnetic anisotropy essential to all-optical ultrafast spin reversal in ferromagnets?". United States. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/aa83c6. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1523409.
@article{osti_1523409,
title = {Is perpendicular magnetic anisotropy essential to all-optical ultrafast spin reversal in ferromagnets?},
author = {Zhang, G. P. and Bai, Y. H. and George, Thomas F.},
abstractNote = {All-optical spin reversal presents a new opportunity for spin manipulations, free of a magnetic field. Most of all-optical-spin-reversal ferromagnets are found to have a perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA), but it has been unknown whether PMA is necessary for spin reversal. Here we theoretically investigate magnetic thin films with either PMA or in-plane magnetic anisotropy (IMA). Our results show that spin reversal in IMA systems is possible, but only with a longer laser pulse and within a narrow laser parameter region. Spin reversal does not show a strong helicity dependence where the left- and right-circularly polarized light lead to the identical results. By contrast, the spin reversal in PMA systems is robust, provided both the spin angular momentum and laser field are strong enough while the magnetic anisotropy itself is not too strong. This explains why experimentally the majority of all-optical spin-reversal samples are found to have strong PMA and why spins in Fe nanoparticles only cant out of plane. It is the laser-induced spin–orbit torque that plays a key role in the spin reversal. Surprisingly, the same spin–orbit torque results in laser-induced spin rectification in spin-mixed configuration, a prediction that can be tested experimentally. Our results clearly point out that PMA is essential to spin reversal, though there is an opportunity for in-plane spin reversal.},
doi = {10.1088/1361-648X/aa83c6},
journal = {Journal of Physics. Condensed Matter},
number = [42],
volume = [29],
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

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Cited by: 6 works
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