Ultrafast Non-Equilibrium Processes in Magnetic Materials and in Spintronics

Pablo Maldonado
Pablo Maldonado. Photo: Camilla Thulin

The Swedish Research Council reached a decision on February 23, 2017 on project grants and starting grants on Natural and Engineering Sciences. The Department of Physics and Astronomy is granted 45.9 million SEK for the period 2016-2020 for in total six project grants and six starting grants. The projects will begin during 2017.

Project description

Pablo Maldonado, Materials Theory was granted 3.124 million SEK for the project “Ultrafast Non-Equilibrium Processes in Magnetic Materials and in Spintronics” from the Swedish Research Council for the period 2016-2020.

Project description

Ultrafast laser control of magnetism is a novel research field which encompasses both basic research and potential applications. Here, ultra-short laser pulses are used to trigger the generation of a spin-reorientation or an ultrafast spin current. These ultra-short laser pulses (in the femtosecond range) are the shortest manmade tools that allow for novel ways to control and manipulate the magnetic structure and spin-transport on hitherto unthought-of time-scales.

Spintronics is a flourishing research field in its own right. It is a promising alternative to currently existing charge-based electronic technology; it aims to achieve an active control and manipulation of spin degrees of freedom in solid-state systems. Thus, it appears that ultrafast THz control of magnetism is a natural partner to novel ultrafast spintronics operating with laser-induced femtosecond spin current pulses.

In this project I intend to develop foundational theory for ultrafast non-equilibrium laser-induced magnetic processes. Particularly, the stimulation of magnetic material with an optical pulse and the fundamental couplings between the electronic, spin and ionic degrees of freedom will be theoretically investigated. This is a novel route that remains largely unexplored theoretically and that will pave the way to gain a complete understanding of the magnetization dynamics. It can be expected that this project will contribute for advancing technological applications.

Last modified: 2022-02-24