Manipulating femtosecond spin-orbit torques with laser pulse sequences to control magnetic memory states and ringing

Academic Article


  • Femtosecond (fs) coherent control of collective order parameters is important for nonequilibrium phase dynamics in correlated materials. Here, we propose such control of ferromagnetic order based on using nonadiabatic optical manipulation of electron-hole (e-h) photoexcitations to create fs carrier-spin pulses with controllable direction and time profile. These spin pulses are generated due to the time-reversal symmetry breaking arising from nonperturbative spin-orbit and magnetic exchange couplings of coherent photocarriers. By tuning the nonthermal populations of exchange-split, spin-orbit-coupled semiconductor band states, we can excite fs spin-orbit torques that control complex magnetization pathways between multiple magnetic memory states. We calculate the laser-induced fs magnetic anisotropy in the time domain by using density matrix equations of motion rather than the quasiequilibrium free energy. By comparing to pump-probe experiments, we identify a "sudden" out-of-plane magnetization canting displaying fs magnetic hysteresis, which agrees with switchings measured by the static Hall magnetoresistivity. This fs transverse spin-canting switches direction with magnetic state and laser frequency, which distinguishes it from the longitudinal nonlinear optical and demagnetization effects. We propose that sequences of clockwise or counterclockwise fs spin-orbit torques, photoexcited by shaping two-color laser-pulse sequences analogous to multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, can be used to timely suppress or enhance magnetic ringing and switching rotation in magnetic memories.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lingos PC; Wang J; Perakis IE
  • Volume

  • 91
  • Issue

  • 19