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Nat Mater. 2014 Mar;13(3):286-92. doi: 10.1038/nmat3864. Epub 2014 Feb 16.

Engineered materials for all-optical helicity-dependent magnetic switching.

Author information

1
1] Center for Magnetic Recording Research, University of California San Diego La Jolla, California 92093-0401 USA [2] Institut Jean Lamour, UMR CNRS 7198 - Université de Lorraine - boulevard des aiguillettes BP 70239, Vandoeuvre cedex F-54506 France.
2
Center for Magnetic Recording Research, University of California San Diego La Jolla, California 92093-0401 USA.
3
Department of Physics and Research Center OPTIMAS University of Kaiserslautern Erwin Schroedinger Str. 46 Kaiserslautern D-67663 Germany.
4
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California San Diego La Jolla, California 92093-0401 USA.
5
Institut Jean Lamour, UMR CNRS 7198 - Université de Lorraine - boulevard des aiguillettes BP 70239, Vandoeuvre cedex F-54506 France.
6
1] Institut Jean Lamour, UMR CNRS 7198 - Université de Lorraine - boulevard des aiguillettes BP 70239, Vandoeuvre cedex F-54506 France [2] Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS UMR 8502 Orsay 91405 France.
7
1] Center for Magnetic Recording Research, University of California San Diego La Jolla, California 92093-0401 USA [2] Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California San Diego La Jolla, California 92093-0401 USA.

Abstract

The possibility of manipulating magnetic systems without applied magnetic fields have attracted growing attention over the past fifteen years. The low-power manipulation of the magnetization, preferably at ultrashort timescales, has become a fundamental challenge with implications for future magnetic information memory and storage technologies. Here we explore the optical manipulation of the magnetization in engineered magnetic materials. We demonstrate that all-optical helicity-dependent switching (AO-HDS) can be observed not only in selected rare earth-transition metal (RE-TM) alloy films but also in a much broader variety of materials, including RE-TM alloys, multilayers and heterostructures. We further show that RE-free Co-Ir-based synthetic ferrimagnetic heterostructures designed to mimic the magnetic properties of RE-TM alloys also exhibit AO-HDS. These results challenge present theories of AO-HDS and provide a pathway to engineering materials for future applications based on all-optical control of magnetic order.

PMID:
24531398
DOI:
10.1038/nmat3864

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