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Resonant Pumping of d−d Crystal Field Electronic Transitions as a Mechanism of Ultrafast Optical Control of the Exchange Interactions in Iron Oxides

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineLetterpeer-review

Article number157201
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/10/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review letters
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The microscopic origin of ultrafast modification of the ratio between the symmetric (J) and antisymmetric (D) exchange interaction in antiferromagnetic iron oxides is revealed, using femtosecond laser excitation as a pump and terahertz emission spectroscopy as a probe. By tuning the photon energy of the laser pump pulse we show that the effect of light on the D/J ratio in two archetypical iron oxides FeBO3 and ErFeO3 is maximized when the photon energy is in resonance with a spin and parity forbidden d−d transition between the crystal-field split states of Fe3+ ions. The experimental findings are supported by a multielectron model, which accounts for the resonant absorption of photons by Fe3+ ions. Our results reveal the importance of the parity and spin-change forbidden, and therefore often underestimated, d−d transitions in ultrafast optical control of magnetism.

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© 2020 American Physical Society