Laser-driven formation of transient local ferromagnetism in FeRh thin films

A. A. Ünal, A. Parabas, A. Arora, J. Ehrler, Craig Barton, S. Valencia, R. Bali, T. Thomson, F. Yildiz, F. Kronast

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The antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic phase transition in FeRh can be induced globally by either heating the material above its phase transition temperature or applying a combination of external stimuli (such as mechanical strain, electric/magnetic fields) on the material preheated close to its transition temperature. On the other hand, to locally induce this phase transition is more desirable for applications and requires a confined source of energy such as a focused laser beam. Here we combine laser excitation with X-ray magnetic imaging to determine the effect of laser heating on the local and transient magnetization of FeRh using time-resolved photoelectron emission microscopy. Excitation by an ultrashort laser pulse generates a local ferromagnetic state within 0.6. ns which recovers its initial antiferromagnetic state after a further 2. ns. The form of the domains during the growth and diminution of ferromagnetic ordering suggests an intrinsic speed limit for magnetic and structural changes.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date4 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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