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Studying Laser-Induced Spin Currents Using Ultrafast Extreme Ultraviolet Light

TitleStudying Laser-Induced Spin Currents Using Ultrafast Extreme Ultraviolet Light
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsTurgut, E
Academic DepartmentPhysics
Number of Pages161
Date Published2014-04
UniversityUniversity of Colorado
CityBoulder, CO

Next-generation magnetic-memory devices and heat-assisted magnetic-recording applications will require a better understanding of magnetic multilayers and their interactions with optical-laser pulses. In this thesis, by combining the advantages of ultrabroad-band extreme-ultraviolet light including ultrafast time resolution, element selectivity and tabletop easy access, I report three findings in the study of ultrafast magnetization dynamics in itinerant ferromagnets. First, I experimentally prove that the transverse magneto-optical Kerr response with extreme-ultraviolet light has a purely magnetic origin and that our experimental technique is an artifact-free ultrafast magnetic probe. Second, I demonstrate the first ultrafast magnetization enhancement driven by ultrafast spin currents in Ni/Ru/Fe multilayers. Third, I engineer the sample system by choosing either insulating or spin-scattering spacer layers between the Ni and Fe magnetic layers and by structural ordering. Then, I control the competition between ultrafast spin-flip scattering and superdiffusive spin-current mechanisms; either of these processes may to be the dominant mechanism in ultrafast demagnetization. Finally, I report two continuing experiments that are promising for future ultrafast magnetization studies with extreme-ultraviolet sources. These experiments are resonant magnetic small-angle-scattering and the generation of bright circularly polarized high harmonics accompanied by a demonstration of the first x-ray magnetic circular dichroism with a tabletop system.