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Nat Commun. 2013;4:2702. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3702.

Omnidirectional spin-wave nanograting coupler.

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Physik Department E10, Technische Universität München, James-Franck-Strasse 1, D-85747 Garching b. München, Germany.


Magnonics as an emerging nanotechnology offers functionalities beyond current semiconductor technology. Spin waves used in cellular nonlinear networks are expected to speed up technologically, demanding tasks such as image processing and speech recognition at low power consumption. However, efficient coupling to microelectronics poses a vital challenge. Previously developed techniques for spin-wave excitation (for example, by using parametric pumping in a cavity) may not allow for the relevant downscaling or provide only individual point-like sources. Here we demonstrate that a grating coupler of periodically nanostructured magnets provokes multidirectional emission of short-wavelength spin waves with giantly enhanced amplitude compared with a bare microwave antenna. Exploring the dependence on ferromagnetic materials, lattice constants and the applied magnetic field, we find the magnonic grating coupler to be more versatile compared with gratings in photonics and plasmonics. Our results allow one to convert, in particular, straight microwave antennas into omnidirectional emitters for short-wavelength spin waves, which are key to cellular nonlinear networks and integrated magnonics.

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