Microscopic model for all optical switching in ferromagnets

T.D. Cornelissen, R.M. Cordoba Castillo, B. Koopmans

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The microscopic mechanism behind the all optical switching (AOS) in ferromagnets has triggered intense scientific debate. Here, the microscopic three-temperature model is utilized to describe AOS in a perpendicularly magnetized ferromagnetic Co/Pt system. We demonstrate that AOS in such a ferromagnet can be explained with the Inverse Faraday Effect (IFE). The influence of the strength and lifetime of the IFE induced field pulse on the switching process are investigated. We found that because of strong spin-orbit coupling, the minimal lifetime of the IFE needed to obtain switching is of the order of 0.1 ps, which is shorter than previously assumed. Moreover, spatial images of the domain pattern after AOS in Co/Pt, as well as their dependence on applying an opposite magnetic field, are qualitatively reproduced.
Original languageEnglish
Article number142405
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2016


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