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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 May 18;98(20):207401. Epub 2007 May 14.

Ultrafast interaction of the angular momentum of photons with spins in the metallic amorphous alloy GdFeCo.

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  • 1Institute for Molecules and Materials, Radboud University Nijmegen, Toernooiveld 1, 6525 ED Nijmegen, The Netherlands. d.stanciu@science.ru.nl


Ultrashort laser pulses have been used to study the effect of circularly polarized light on spins in the ferrimagnetic metal GdFeCo. By turning the sample into a multidomain state and thereby suppressing the observation of the heating effect of light, we have been able to demonstrate an ultrafast nonthermal excitation of spin waves with a phase that depends on the angular momentum of the photons. These results demonstrate the possibility of ultrafast coherent control of the magnetization in this metallic system.

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