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Journal Article

Making a case for femto-phono-magnetism with FePt


Dewhurst,  J. Kay       
Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Sharma, S., Shallcross, S., Elliott, P., & Dewhurst, J. K. (2022). Making a case for femto-phono-magnetism with FePt. Science Advances, 8(37): eabq2021. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abq2021.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-79EC-4
In the field of femtomagnetism, magnetic matter is controlled by ultrafast laser pulses; here, we show that coupling phonon excitations of the nuclei to spin and charge leads to femto-phono-magnetism, a powerful route to control magnetic order at ultrafast times. With state-of-the-art theoretical simulations of coupled spin, charge, and lattice dynamics, we identify strong nonadiabatic spin-phonon coupled modes that dominate early time spin dynamics. Activating these phonon modes that we show leads to an additional (up to 40% extra) loss of moment in iron-platinum occurring within 40 femtoseconds of the pump laser pulse. Underpinning this enhanced ultrafast loss of spin moment, we identify a physical mechanism in which minority spin current drives an enhanced intersite minority charge transfer, in turn promoting increased on-site spin flips. Our finding demonstrates that the nuclear system, often assumed to play the role of an energy and angular momentum sink, when selectively preexcited, can play a profound role in controlling femtosecond spin dynamics in materials.