Comparing all-optical switching in synthetic-ferrimagnetic multilayers and alloys

23 Sep 2020  ·  Beens Maarten, Lalieu Mark L. M., Deenen Axel J. M., Duine Rembert A., Koopmans Bert ·

We present an experimental and theoretical investigation of all-optical switching by single femtosecond laser pulses. Our experimental results demonstrate that, unlike rare earth-transition metal ferrimagnetic alloys, Pt/Co/[Ni/Co]$_N$/Gd can be switched in the absence of a magnetization compensation temperature, indicative for strikingly different switching conditions... In order to understand the underlying mechanism, we model the laser-induced magnetization dynamics in Co/Gd bilayers and GdCo alloys on an equal footing, using an extension of the microscopic three-temperature model to multiple magnetic sublattices and including exchange scattering. In agreement with our experimental observations, the model shows that Co/Gd bilayers can be switched for an arbitrary thickness of the Co layer, i.e, even far away from compensating the total Co and Gd magnetic moment. We identify the switching mechanism in Co/Gd bilayers as a front of reversed Co magnetization that nucleates at the Co/Gd interface and propagates through the Co layer driven by exchange scattering. read more

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Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics