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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

dr. Alexej Kimel: Femtosecond opto-magnetism: Controlling and Harnessing the Fundamental Forces in Magnets

When:Fr 16-01-2015 11:00 - 12:00

The idea to change properties of media with the help of light has long intrigued people in physics and chemistry. Understanding the mechanisms leading to photo-induced magnetic phenomena is a particularly intriguing problem as the strongest perturbation in light-matter interaction - the effect of the electric field of light on electric charges - conserves the spin. In my talk I will discuss how to control spins in magnets with the help of femtosecond laser pulses [1,2]. It will be shown that the laser pulses can effectively manipulate spins via ultrafast effect on spin-orbit [2] and exchange interactions [3,4] in magnetic materials. The effects are truly non-dissipative being observed even if the laser pulse is not absorbed [4]. I will also discuss scenarios in which the strength of the opto-magnetic effects can be employed to achieve ever faster magnetic switching [5].


[1] A. Kirilyuk, A. V. Kimel, and Th. Rasing, Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 2731 (2010).

[2] A. V. Kimel et al, Nature 435, 655 (2005).

[2] R. Mikhaylovskiy et al (submitted).

[3] R. Subkhangulov et al, Scientific Reports 4, 4368 (2014).

[4] D. Bossini et al, Phys. Rev B 89, 060405(R) (2014).

[5] T.A. Ostler et al, Nature-Communications 3, 666 (2012).