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Signatures of relativistic spin-light coupling in magneto-optical pump-probe experiments
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Theory.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Theory.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Theory.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, ISSN 0953-8984, E-ISSN 1361-648X, Vol. 29, no 19, 194002Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Femtosecond magneto-optical pump-probe measurements of ultrafast demagnetization show an intriguing difference in the first 100 fs of the magneto-optical Kerr response depending on whether the polarization of the pump and probe beams are in parallel or perpendicular configuration (Bigot et al 2009 Nat. Phys. 5 515). Starting from a most general relativistic Hamiltonian we focus on the ultra-relativistic light-spin interaction and show that this coupling term leads to different light-induced opto-magnetic fields when pump and probe polarization are parallel and perpendicular to each other, providing thus an explanation for the measurements. We also analyze other pump-probe configurations where the pump laser is circularly polarized and the employed probe contains only linearly polarized light and show that similar opto-magnetic effects can be anticipated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOP PUBLISHING LTD , 2017. Vol. 29, no 19, 194002
Keyword [en]
ultrafast magnetism, pump-probe experiments, relativistic AME coupling, opto-magnetic field
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-321781DOI: 10.1088/1361-648X/aa68eaISI: 000399254200002PubMedID: 28337969OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-321781DiVA: diva2:1094836
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilKnut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 2015.0060Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC)
Available from: 2017-05-11 Created: 2017-05-11 Last updated: 2017-09-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Relativistic theory of laser-induced magnetization dynamics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Relativistic theory of laser-induced magnetization dynamics
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Ultrafast dynamical processes in magnetic systems have become the subject of intense research during the last two decades, initiated by the pioneering discovery of femtosecond laser-induced demagnetization in nickel. In this thesis, we develop theory for fast and ultrafast magnetization dynamics. In particular, we build relativistic theory to explain the magnetization dynamics observed at short timescales in pump-probe magneto-optical experiments and compute from first-principles the coherent laser-induced magnetization.

In the developed relativistic theory, we start from the fundamental Dirac-Kohn-Sham equation that includes all relativistic effects related to spin and orbital magnetism as well as the magnetic exchange interaction and any external electromagnetic field. As it describes both particle and antiparticle, a separation between them is sought because we focus on low-energy excitations within the particle system. Doing so, we derive the extended Pauli Hamiltonian that captures all relativistic contributions in first order; the most significant one is the full spin-orbit interaction (gauge invariant and Hermitian). Noteworthy, we find that this relativistic framework explains a wide range of dynamical magnetic phenomena. To mention, (i) we show that the phenomenological Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation of spin dynamics can be rigorously obtained from the Dirac-Kohn-Sham equation and we derive an exact expression for the tensorial Gilbert damping. (ii) We derive, from the gauge-invariant part of the spin-orbit interaction, the existence of a relativistic interaction that linearly couples the angular momentum of the electromagnetic field and the electron spin. We show this spin-photon interaction to provide the previously unknown origin of the angular magneto-electric coupling, to explain coherent ultrafast magnetism, and to lead to a new torque, the optical spin-orbit torque. (iii) We derive a definite description of magnetic inertia (spin nutation) in ultrafast magnetization dynamics and show that it is a higher-order spin-orbit effect. (iv) We develop a unified theory of magnetization dynamics that includes spin currents and show that the nonrelativistic spin currents naturally lead to the current-induced spin-transfer torques, whereas the relativistic spin currents lead to spin-orbit torques. (v) Using the relativistic framework together with ab initio magneto-optical calculations we show that relativistic laser-induced spin-flip transitions do not explain the measured large laser-induced demagnetization.

Employing the ab initio relativistic framework, we calculate the amount of magnetization that can be imparted in a material by means of circularly polarized light – the so-called inverse Faraday effect. We show the existence of both spin and orbital induced magnetizations, which surprisingly reveal a different behavior. We establish that the laser-induced magnetization is antisymmetric in the light’s helicity for nonmagnets, antiferromagnets and paramagnets; however, it is only asymmetric for ferromagnets. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 115 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1558
Keyword
Relativistic quantum electrodynamics, magneto-optics, spin-orbit coupling, ultrafast demagnetization, inverse Faraday effect, magnetic inertia, Gilbert damping
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-315247 (URN)978-91-513-0070-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-27, Polhemsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-10-03 Created: 2017-09-11 Last updated: 2017-10-03

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