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Lecture A.V. Kimel


16 February 2004 FWN-Building 5116.0116, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen
Speaker: Dr. A.V. Kimel
Affiliation: NSRIM Institute, University of Nijmegen
Title: Ultrafast manipulation of spins in antiferromagnetic materials
Date: Mon Feb 16, 2004
Start: 14.00
Location: FWN-Building 5116.0116
Host: P.H.M. van Loosdrecht
Telephone: +31 50 363 8149


The study of ultrafast magnetization dynamics has become one of the hottest topics in condensed- matter physics, stimulated on the one hand by the demands of the ever increasing speed to write and retrieve magnetically stored information, and on the other, by the development of ultrafast (femtosecond) laser sources. The latter are able to excite a medium at much shorter time scales than fundamental quantities such as spin precession or spin-lattice relaxation times. So far, most studies of ultrafast spin dynamics were focused on ferromagnetic materials because of their obvious relevance for applications. However, due to the fact that in antiferromagnets, no angular momentum is associated with the order parameter, spin dynamics in these materials is intrinsically much faster than in ferromagnets.

Here we report on the quenching of antiferromagnetic order in iron borate FeBO3, induced by ultrafast laser excitation [1]. This experiment has allowed us to reveal “bottlenecks” that affect the dynamics of the photo-induced manipulation magnetic state of a medium and develop novel approach for ultrafast manipulation antiferromagnetic spins. We demonstrate an efficiency of this new approach and show that, using a short laser pulse, the spins of antiferromagnetic TmFeO3 can indeed be manipulated on a time scale of a few picoseconds, in contrast to the hundreds of picoseconds in a ferromagnet [2,3]. This observation demonstrates that antiferromagnetic materials posses a huge potential for truly ultrafast magnetic memory.


[1] A. V. Kimel, R. V. Pisarev, J. Hohlfeld, and Th. Rasing, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 287401 (2002)

[2] Th. Gerrits, H. A. M. van den Berg, J. Hohlfeld, L. Bär, and Th. Rasing, Nature 418, 509 (2002)

[3] H. W. Schumacher, C. Chappert, P. Crozat, R. C. Sousa, P. P. Freitas, J. Miltat,  J. Fassbender, and B. Hillebrands, Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 017201 (2003)


Last modified:22 October 2012 2.30 p.m.