Theory for ultra fast laser induced magnetization

Peter Oppeneer
Peter Oppeneer. Photo: Camilla Thulin.

The Swedish Research Council has reached a decision on Natural and Engineering Sciences on the calls Research Project Grants and Starting Grants for the period 2017-2021. The projects will start during 2018.

Project Description

Project title: Theory for ultra fast laser induced magnetization
Main applicant: Peter Oppeneer, Division of Materials Theory
Grant amount: 3 100 000 SEK for the period 2017-2021
Funder: Project grant from the Swedish Research Council

Project description

Employing ultrashort light pulses with durations of atto- to femto-seconds to probe the entangled dynamics of a material’s spin, orbital, and lattice degrees of freedom has led to exciting discoveries, to mention, for example, ultrafast demagnetization, THz-radiation-induced superconductivity, laser imparted magnetization and all-optical magnetization switching. In spite of these exciting discoveries, applicable theory frameworks that can describe the dynamical nonequilibrium interaction of a material's spin, orbital, and lattice degrees of freedom with such intensive, short radiation pulses are largely missing. Here we propose to develop such fundamental theoretical modeling, comprising both analytical and first-principles theory.

Our specific aim is to treat ultrafast-laser-induced magnetic phenomena, such as the magnetization that can be induced by short laser pulses, to develop a theory for all-optical magnetization switching, modeling of femtosecond laser-generated spin currents, and develop ab initio calculations for spectroscopy of magnetic materials measured with brilliant radiation in the as-yet not much explored extreme ultraviolet regime.

The outcomes of the here-proposed fundamental study will expand our understanding of fast laser induced processes and may have important consequences for future applications, such as ultrafast magnetic recording and information processing technologies.