Alexey Melnikov, Ilya Razdolski, Alexandr Alekhin, Nikita Ilin, Jan Meyburg, Detlef Diesing, Vladimir Roddatis, Ivan Rungger, Maria Stamenova, Stefano Sanvito, and Uwe Bovensiepen:
Proc. SPIE 9931, Spintronics IX, 99311A (2016), pp.2,
Further development of spintronics requires miniaturization and reduction of characteristic timescales of spin dynamics combining the nanometer spatial and femtosecond temporal ranges. These demands shift the focus of interest towards the fundamental open question of the interaction of femtosecond spin current (SC) pulses with a ferromagnet (FM). The spatio-temporal properties of the spin transfer torque (STT) exerted by ultrashort SC pulses on the FM open the time domain for studying STT fingerprint on spatially non-uniform magnetization dynamics. Using the sensitivity of magneto-induced second harmonic generation to SC, we develop technique for SC monitoring. With 20 fs resolution, we demonstrate the generation of 250 fs-long SC pulses in Fe/Au/Fe/MgO(001) structures. Their temporal profile indicates (i) nearly-ballistic hot electron transport in Au and (ii) that the pulse duration is primarily determined by the thermalization time of laser-excited hot carriers in Fe. Together with strongly spin-dependent Fe/Au interface transmission calculated for these carriers, this suggests the non-thermal spin-dependent Seebeck effect dominating the generation of ultrashort SC pulses. The analysis of SC transmission/reflection at the Au/Fe interface shows that hot electron spins orthogonal to the Fe magnetization rotate gaining huge parallel (anti-parallel) projection in transmitted (reflected) SC. This is accompanied by a STT-induced perturbation of the magnetization localized at the interface, which excites the inhomogeneous high-frequency spin dynamics in the FM. Time-resolved magneto-optical studies reveal the excitation of several standing spin wave modes in the Fe film with their spectrum extending up to 0.6 THz and indicating the STT spatial confinement to 2 nm.
The original publication is available by link DOI: 10.1117/12.2239214