A. V. Kimel

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We experimentally demonstrate that the magnetization can be reversed in a reproducible manner by a single 40 femtosecond circularly polarized laser pulse, without any applied magnetic field. This optically induced ultrafast magnetization reversal previously believed impossible is the combined result of femtosecond laser heating of the magnetic system to(More)
Using time-resolved single-shot pump-probe microscopy we unveil the mechanism and the time scale of all-optical magnetization reversal by a single circularly polarized 100 fs laser pulse. We demonstrate that the reversal has a linear character, i.e., does not involve precession but occurs via a strongly nonequilibrium state. Calculations show that the(More)
Ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic spin ordering is governed by the exchange interaction, the strongest force in magnetism. Understanding spin dynamics in magnetic materials is an issue of crucial importance for progress in information processing and recording technology. Usually the dynamics are studied by observing the collective response of(More)
The question of how, and how fast, magnetization can be reversed is a topic of great practical interest for the manipulation and storage of magnetic information. It is generally accepted that magnetization reversal should be driven by a stimulus represented by time-non-invariant vectors such as a magnetic field, spin-polarized electric current, or(More)
The demand for ever-increasing density of information storage and speed of manipulation has triggered an intense search for ways to control the magnetization of a medium by means other than magnetic fields. Recent experiments on laser-induced demagnetization and spin reorientation use ultrafast lasers as a means to manipulate magnetization, accessing(More)
All magnetically ordered materials can be divided into two primary classes: ferromagnets and antiferromagnets. Since ancient times, ferromagnetic materials have found vast application areas, from the compass to computer storage and more recently to magnetic random access memory and spintronics. In contrast, antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials, though(More)
Using magneto-optical microscopy in combination with ellipsometry measurements, we show that all-optical switching with polarized femtosecond laser pulses in ferrimagnetic GdFeCo is subjected to a threshold fluence absorbed in the magnetic layer, independent of either the excitation wavelength or the polarization of the laser pulse. Furthermore, we present(More)
Ultrafast laser techniques have revealed extraordinary spin dynamics in magnetic materials that equilibrium descriptions of magnetism cannot explain. Particularly important for future applications is understanding non-equilibrium spin dynamics following laser excitation on the nanoscale, yet the limited spatial resolution of optical laser techniques has(More)
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(More)
We demonstrate that intense laser pulses can be used to directly control the spins in ferrimagnetic garnet films. Through an ultrafast and nonthermal photomagnetic effect the magnetocrystalline anisotropy is modified to create a new long-lived equilibrium orientation for the magnetization. Simultaneously, the magnetization is rotated into this new state by(More)