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Controlling the Competition between Optically Induced Ultrafast Spin-Flip Scattering and Spin Transport in Magnetic Multilayers



Justin Shaw, Hans Nembach, Thomas J. Silva, Margaret M. Murnane, Henry C. Kapteyn, Martin Aeschlimann, Claus M. Schneider, Emrah Turgut, Stefan Mathias, Patrik Grychtol, Chan La-O-Vorakiat, Dennis Rudolf, Roman Adam


The study of ultrafast dynamics in magnetic materials provides rich opportunities for greater fundamental understanding of correlated phenomena in solid-state matter, because many of the basic microscopic mechanisms involved are as-yet unclear and are still being uncovered. Recently, two different possible mechanisms have been proposed to explain ultrafast laser induced magnetization dynamics: spin currents and spin-flip scattering. In this work, we use multilayers of Fe and Ni with different metals and insulators as the spacer material to conclusively show that spin currents can have a significant contribution to optically induced magnetization dynamics, in addition to spin-flip scattering processes. Moreover, we can control the competition between these two processes, and in some cases completely suppress interlayer spin currents as a sample undergoes rapid demagnetization. Finally, by reversing the order of the Fe/Ni layers, we experimentally show that spin currents are directional in our samples, predominantly flowing from the top to the bottom layer.
Physical Review Letters


ultrafast demagnetization, high harmonic generation, spin current


Shaw, J. , Nembach, H. , Silva, T. , Murnane, M. , Kapteyn, H. , Aeschlimann, M. , Schneider, C. , Turgut, E. , Mathias, S. , Grychtol, P. , La-O-Vorakiat, C. , Rudolf, D. and Adam, R. (2013), Controlling the Competition between Optically Induced Ultrafast Spin-Flip Scattering and Spin Transport in Magnetic Multilayers, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created May 6, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021