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Selective Excitation of Terahertz Magnetic and Electric Dipoles in Er3+ Ions by Femtosecond Laser Pulses in ErFeO3

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Article number017205
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/01/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review letters
Volume118
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

We show that femtosecond laser pulse excitation of the orthoferrite
ErFeO3 triggers pico- and subpicosecond dynamics of magnetic and electric dipoles associated with the low energy electronic states of the Er3+
ions. These dynamics are readily revealed by using polarization sensitive terahertz emission spectroscopy. It is shown that by changing the polarization of the femtosecond laser pulse one can excite either electric dipole-active or magnetic dipole-active transitions between the Kramers doublets of the 4I15/2
ground state of the Er3+(4f11) ions. These observations serve as a proof of principle of polarization-selective control of both electric and magnetic degrees of freedom at terahertz frequencies, opening up new vistas for optical manipulation of magnetoelectric materials.