Ultrafast Subpicosecond Magnetization of a 2D Ferromagnet



Le Duc Anh, Masaki Kobayashi, Takahito Takeda, Kohsei Araki, Ryo Okano, Toshihide Sumi, Masafumi Horio, Kohei Yamamoto, Yuya Kubota, Shigeki Owada, Makina Yabashi, Iwao Matsuda, Masaaki Tanaka



Strong spin-charge interactions in several ferromagnets are expected to lead to subpicosecond (sub-ps) magnetization of the magnetic materials through control of the carrier characteristics via electrical means, which is essential for ultrafast spin-based electronic devices. Thus far, ultrafast control of magnetization has been realized by optically pumping a large number of carriers into the d or f orbitals of a ferromagnet; however, it is extremely challenging to implement by electrical gating. This work demonstrates a new method for sub-ps magnetization manipulation called wavefunction engineering, in which only the spatial distribution (wavefunction) of s (or p) electrons is controlled and no change is required in the total carrier density. Using a ferromagnetic semiconductor (FMS) (In,Fe)As quantum well (QW), instant enhancement, as fast as 600 fs, of the magnetization is observed upon irradiating a femtosecond (fs) laser pulse. Theoretical analysis shows that the instant enhancement of the magnetization is induced when the 2D electron wavefunctions (WFs) in the FMS QW are rapidly moved by a photo-Dember electric field formed by an asymmetric distribution of the photocarriers. Because this WF engineering method can be equivalently implemented by applying a gate electric field, these results open a new way to realize ultrafast magnetic storage and spin-based information processing in present electronic systems.




Advanced Materials: