Controlling Spins with Light

CIC nanoGUNE Seminars

Theo Rasing, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian
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Controlling Spins with Light The interaction of sub-picosecond laser pulses with magnetically ordered materials has developed into an extremely exciting research topic in modern magnetism and spintronics. From the discovery of sub-picosecond demagnetization over a decade ago to the recent demonstration of magnetization reversal by a single 40 femtosecond laser pulse, the manipulation of spins by ultra short laser pulses has become a fundamentally challenging topic with a potentially high impact for future spintronics, data storage and manipulation and quantum computation. We have recently demonstrated that one can generate ultrashort and very strong (~Tesla’s) magnetic field pulses via the so called Inverse Faraday Effect. Such optically induced magnetic field pulses provide unprecedented means for the generation, manipulation and coherent control of spins on very short time scales. The basic ideas behind these so-called opto-magnetic effects will be discussed and illustrated with recent results, demonstrating the various possibilities of this new field of opto-spintronics A.V.Kimel, A. Kirilyuk, P.A.Usachev, R.V. Pisarev, A.M. Balbashov and Th.Rasing, Ultarfast nonthermal control of magnetization by instantaneous photomagnetic pulses, Nature 435 (2005), 655-657 C.D. Stanciu, F.Hansteen, A.V. Kimel, A. Kirilyuk, A. Tsukamoto, A. Itoh and Th.Rasing, All-optical Magnetic Recording with Circularly polarized Light, Phys.Rev.Lett.99, 047601 (2007) A.V. Kimel B.A. Ivanov, R.V. Pisarev, P.A. Usachev, A. Kirilyuk and Th.Rasing, Inertia-driven spin switching in antiferromagnets, Nature Physics, August 23, 2009 K.Vahaplar, A.M. Kalashnikova, A.V. Kimel, D. Hinzke, U. Nowak, R. Chantrell, A. Tsukamoto, A. Ithoh, A. Kirilyuk and Th.Rasing, Phys.Rev.Lett.103, 117201 (2009)