Forthcoming Events

16.12.2021 - 21.12.2021, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
01.06.2022 - 30.06.2022, Grindelwald, Switzerland
27.06.2022 - 29.06.2022, University College London, UK


Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to RESOLV Member Benjamin List- for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis
NCCR MUST at Scientifica 2021- Lightning, organic solar cells, and virtual molecules
#NCCRWomen- NCCR MUST celebrates 50 years women’s right to vote in Switzerland
Kick-Off dynaMENT Mentoring for Women in Natural Sciences- with Ursula Keller as plenary speaker
Four new scientific highlights- by MUST PIs Chergui / Milne / Beaud / Staub, by Wolf / Röthlisberger, by Wörner, and Keller
Photon Science Roadmap- for Research Infrastructures 2025-2028 by the Swiss Photon Community
Proof of concept ERC Grant for Ursula Keller Dual-comb laser driven terahertz spectrometer for industrial sensing (DC-THz)
Majed Chergui - elected to the European Academy of Sciences
Ruth Signorell - elected to the European Academy of Sciences
Farewell and Welcome!Chris Milne leaves for the European XFEL, Camila Bacellar takes over

Efficient spin excitation via ultrafast damping-like torques in antiferromagnets

December 1, 2020

Damping effects form the core of many emerging concepts for high-speed spintronic applications. Important characteristics such as device switching times and magnetic domain-wall velocities depend critically on the damping rate. While the implications of spin damping for relaxation processes are intensively studied, damping effects during impulsive spin excitations are assumed to be negligible because of the shortness of the excitation process. Herein we show that, unlike in ferromagnets, ultrafast damping plays a crucial role in antiferromagnets because of their strongly elliptical spin precession. In time-resolved measurements, we find that ultrafast damping results in an immediate spin canting along the short precession axis. The interplay between antiferromagnetic exchange and magnetic anisotropy amplifies this canting by several orders of magnitude towards large-amplitude modulations of the antiferromagnetic order parameter. This leverage effect discloses a highly efficient route towards the ultrafast manipulation of magnetism in antiferromagnetic spintronics.

a Projection of the YMnO3 crystal structure onto the basal plane. Mn3+ ions (violet) in grey and white areas are located in planes at z = 0 and z = c/2, respectively. The three sublattice magnetisations Mi point along equivalent x axes xi as indicated in the coordinate system. Note that spins in HoMnO3 point along equivalent y axes for TSR < T < TN (Supplementary Fig. 1). b Schematic of the setup. The pump and probe pulses are circularly and linearly polarised, respectively. P polariser, λ/4 quarter-wave plate, WP Wollaston prism, BPD balanced photodiode. c Visualisation of optical Z-mode excitation with field-like and damping-like torques ΤFL and TDL exerted by the effective field HIFE of the IFE on the magnetisation Mi ‖ x̂i (x̂i denotes the unit vector in the direction xi). Black lines illustrate the ensuing strongly elliptical spin precession. Dashed ellipses show the expected trajectory without spin excitation via TDL. Precession amplitudes are significantly reduced.
Reference: Tzschaschel, C., Satoh, T., and Fiebig, M. (2020). Efficient spin excitation via ultrafast damping-like torques in antiferromagnets. Nature Commun 11, 6142. (10.1038/s41467-020-19749-y)

NCCR MUST Office : ETHZ IQE/ULP-HPT H3 | Auguste-Piccard-Hof 1 | 8093 Zurich | E-Mail | +41 44 633 36 02
The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation