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Ultrafast optical modification of exchange interactions in iron oxides

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • R.V. Mikhaylovskiy
  • E. Hendry
  • A. Secchi
  • J.H. Mentink
  • M. Eckstein
  • A. Wu
  • R.V. Pisarev
  • V.V. Kruglyak
  • M.I. Katsnelson
  • Th. Rasing
  • A.V. Kimel
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Article number8190
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/09/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Communications
Volume6
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Ultrafast non-thermal manipulation of magnetization by light relies on either indirect coupling of the electric field component of the light with spins via spin-orbit interaction or direct coupling between the magnetic field component and spins. Here we propose a scenario for coupling between the electric field of light and spins via optical modification of the exchange interaction, one of the strongest quantum effects with strength of 103 Tesla. We demonstrate that this isotropic opto-magnetic effect, which can be called inverse magneto-refraction, is allowed in a material of any symmetry. Its existence is corroborated by the experimental observation of terahertz emission by spin resonances optically excited in a broad class of iron oxides with a canted spin configuration. From its strength we estimate that a sub-picosecond modification of the exchange interaction by laser pulses with fluence of about 1 mJ cm−2 acts as a pulsed effective magnetic field of 0.01 Tesla.