On-line SPICE-SPIN+X Seminars

On-line Seminar: 29.09.2021 - 15:00 German Time

Inertial spin dynamics in ferromagnets

Stefano Bonetti, Stockholm University

The understanding of how spins move and can be manipulated at pico- and femtosecond timescales has implications for ultrafast and energy-efficient data-processing and storage applications. However, the possibility of realizing commercial technologies based on ultrafast spin dynamics has been hampered by our limited knowledge of the physics behind processes on this timescale. Recently, it has been suggested that inertial effects should be considered in the full description of the spin dynamics at these ultrafast timescales, but a clear observation of such effects in ferromagnets has been lacking for about a decade. In this presentation, I will first report on the first direct experimental detection of intrinsic inertial spin dynamics in ferromagnetic thin films, in the form of a forced nutation oscillation of the magnetization at THz frequency, that we observed at the TELBE facility in Dresden, Germany.
Then, I will show our most recent unpublished results on the detection of spin nutation using a table-top broadband THz source, with which we investigated epitaxial thin films of cobalt in its three crystalline phases. The terahertz magnetic field of the radiation generates a torque on the magnetization which causes it to precess for about 1 ps, with a sub-picosecond temporal lag from the driving force. Then, the magnetization undergoes natural damped THz oscillations at a frequency characteristic of the crystalline phase. We describe the experimental observations solving the inertial Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation. Using the results from the relativistic theory of magnetic inertia, we find that the angular momentum relaxation time is the only material parameter needed to describe all the experimental evidence. Our data suggest a proportionality between such time and the strength of the magneto-crystalline anisotropy, deepening our fundamental understanding of magnetic inertia.

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PDF file of the talk available here