Ultrashort pulses of extreme ultraviolet light from high-harmonic generation are a new tool for probing coupled charge, spin, and phonon dynamics with element specificity, attosecond pump-probe synchronization, and time resolution of a few-femtoseconds in a tabletop apparatus. In this paper, we address an important question in magneto-optics that has implications for understanding magnetism on the fastest time scales: Is the signal from the transverse magneto-optical Kerr effect at the M2,3 edges of a magnetic material purely magnetic or is it perturbed by nonmagnetic artifacts? Our measurements demonstrate conclusively that transverse magneto-optical Kerr measurements at the M2,3 edges sensitively probe the magnetic state, with almost negligible contributions from the transient variation of the refractive index by the nonequilibrium hot-electron distribution. In addition, we compare pump-probe demagnetization dynamics measured by both high harmonics and conventional visible-wavelength magneto-optics and find that the measured demagnetization times are in agreement.
Citation: Physical Review
Pub Type: Journals
ultrafast demagnetization, high harmonic generation, transverse magneto-optic Kerr effect, magnetization dynamics, extreme ultraviolet