12. January 2015

Nanoscale sub-100 picosecond all-optical magnetization switching in GdFeCo microstructure

Ultrafast magnetization reversal driven by femtosecond laser pulses has been shown to be a promising way to write information. Seeking to improve the recording density has raised intriguing fundamental questions about the feasibility of combining ultrafast temporal resolution with sub-wavelength spatial resolution for magnetic recording. Here we report on the experimental demonstration of nanoscale sub-100 ps all-optical magnetization switching, providing a path to sub-wavelength magnetic recording. Using computational methods, we reveal the feasibility of nanoscale magnetic switching even for an unfocused laser pulse. This effect is achieved by structuring the sample such that the laser pulse, via both refraction and interference, focuses onto a localized region of the structure, the position of which can be controlled by the structural design. Time-resolved photo-emission electron microscopy studies reveal that nanoscale magnetic switching employing such focusing can be pushed to the sub-100 ps regime.
PSI Media Release
Batman lights the way to compact data storage
Original Publication
Nanoscale sub-100 picosecond all-optical magnetization switching in ​GdFeCo microstructures
L. Le Guyader, M. Savoini, S. El Moussaoui, M. Buzzi, A. Tsukamoto, A. Itoh, A. Kirilyuk, T. Rasing, A. V. Kimel & F. Nolting
Nature Communications, Published 12 Jan 2015
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6839
Prof. Dr Frithjof Nolting
Laboratory for Synchrotron Radiation - Condensed Matter Physics,
Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 56 310 - 5111, email: frithjof.nolting@psi.ch

Dr. Loïc Le Guyader
Institute Methods and Instrumentation for Synchrotron Radiation Research,
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, 14109 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 30 8062-14774, e-mail: loic.le_guyader@helmholtz-berlin.de