Enhancing All-Optical Switching of Magnetization by He Ion Irradiation

Pingzhi Li (Corresponding author), J.W. van der Jagt, Maarten Beens, Julian Hintermayr, Marcel A. Verheijen, René Bruikman, Beatriz Barcones Campo, Roméo Juge, Reinoud Lavrijsen, Dafiné Ravelosona, Bert Koopmans

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All-optical switching (AOS) of magnetization by a single femtosecond laser pulse in Co/Gd based synthetic
ferrimagnets is the fastest magnetization switching process. On the other hand, He ion irradiation has
become a promising tool for interface engineering of spintronic material platforms, giving rise to significant
modification of magnetic properties. In this paper, we explore the use of He ion irradiation to enhance single
pulse AOS of Co/Gd bilayer-based synthetic ferrimagnets. The intermixing of the constituent magnetic layers
by He ion irradiation was both numerically simulated and experimentally verified. We theoretically modelled
the effects of intermixing on AOS using the layered microscopic 3-temperature model and found that AOS is
enhanced significantly by breaking the pristine Co/Gd interface through intermixing. Following this notion,
we studied the threshold fluence of AOS as a function of He ion irradiation fluence. We found that the AOS
threshold fluence can be reduced by almost 30%. Our study reveals the control of AOS by He ion irradiation,
which opens up an industrially compatible approach for local AOS engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number172404
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2022


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