Eric Fullerton (SIMES Friday Seminar)

Date(s) - May 2 2014
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Shasta Room, Bldg. 40, Room 361


Shining light on magnetism: controlled magnetic switching with femto-second laser pulses

Eric FullertonCenter of Magnetic Recording Research
University of California – San Diego

The possibilities of manipulating magnetization without applied magnetic fields have attracted growing attention over the last fifteen years. The low-power manipulation of magnetization, preferably at ultra-short time scales, has become a fundamental challenge with implications for future magnetic information memory and storage technologies. I will discuss recent experiments on the optical manipulation of the magnetization of engineered materials and devices using 100 fs optical pulses. We demonstrate that all optical switching can be observed in a broad range of materials and not limited to selected rare-earth transition-metal alloy films as had been previously observed. We observe all optical switching in a variety of materials, including ferrimagnetic alloys, multilayers, heterostructures and rare-earth-free Co-Ir-based synthetic ferrimagnets [1] and most recently observe optical control of ferromagnetic films. The latter discovery can enable breakthroughs for numerous applications since it exploits materials that are currently used in magnetic data storage, memories and logic technologies. In addition, this materials study of all-optical switching offers valuable insight into the underlying mechanisms involved in optical control of magnetism.

This work is supported, in part, by the Advanced Storage Technology Consortium and is in collaboration with M. Gottwald, C.-H. Lambert, R. Tolley, V. Uhlir, and Y. Fainman at UCSD, S. Alebrand, D. Steil, M. Cinchetti and M. Aeschlimann at University of Kaiserslautern, and M. Hehn, D. Lacour and S. Mangin at Université de Lorraine.

[1]. Mangin et al., Nature Materials 13, 286–292, (2014).