Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse





Spintronic operations driven by terahertz electromagnetic pulses


Heitz,  Julius
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)

(Any fulltext), 11MB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Heitz, J. (2022). Spintronic operations driven by terahertz electromagnetic pulses. PhD Thesis.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-7526-6
Spintronic devices, supplementing and surpassing charge-based electronics by including the electron spin, have recently begun to reach the market. Information carriers such as electrons (in field-effect transistors) and photons (in optical fibers) have already reached the terahertz range (THz, 1012 Hz). To make the electron spin compatible and competitive, spintronic operations need to be pushed to THz frequencies. So far, is is unclear whether fundamental spintronic effects such as spin accumulation or spin-orbit torque can be transferred to THz frequencies. In this respect, it is also important to note that the THz range coincides with many fundamental excitations, for instance phonons, magnons, and the relaxation of electronic currents. Strong THz electromagnetic pulses can be used to study such fundamental excitations, making use of both the electric and magnetic fields of the electromagnetic pulse. In this thesis, strong THz electromagnetic pulses are applied to spintronic thinfilm stacks to drive charge and spin currents, apply torque and manipulate magnetic order. A short optical probe pulse or a resistance probe interrogate the transient magnetic response. First, a measurement strategy is developed to simultaneously detect all components of the vector magnetization of thin film magnets in optical transmission probe experiments at normal incidence, requiring only a variation in the initial probe polarization. To this end, the magnetic circular and linear birefringence (MCB, MLB) effects are measured simultaneously and a calibration strategy for the often neglected MLB effect is presented. Second, using this detection scheme, we study the THz frequency operation of spintronic effects in ferromagnetic(FM)/non-magnetic (NM) heavy metal stacks. We find signatures of THz spin accumulation at the FM/NM interface. The spins injected into a ferromagnet relax within ∼ 100 fs, in line with electron-spin equilibration times measured by ultrafast optically induced demagnetization. Indications of the field-like spin-orbit torque (FL-SOT) are found. Third, an effective method to modulate the relative THz electric and magnetic field amplitudes in thin film samples is presented, enabling one to disentangle effects driven by the electric or the magnetic component of the THz electromagnetic pulse. A nearperfect conductor (THz mirror) quenches the THz electric field in a region close to the mirror, while doubling the THz magnetic field. Measurements with a ferromagnetic thin film confirmed a THz magnetic field increase of 1.97 ± 0.06 and a suppression of the THz electric field in the sample. Finally, we utilize the electric-field suppression effect close to metals to optically gate the THz electric field driven resistance modulation of an antiferromagnet (AFM) grown on a semiconducting substrate. An optically induced transient substrate conductance depletes the THz electric field in the AFM layer, while not perturbing the AFM magnetic order directly. A simple model of parallel conductances is presented, confirming the experimental observations. In conclusion, this thesis is an important contribution to push fundamental spintronic effects such as spin accumulation and spin-orbit torque to the THz range. The developed methodologies are helpful to advance nonlinear THz spectroscopy of magnetic materials.