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Electronic properties of materials can be directly influenced via light absorption in under a femtosecond (10-15 seconds), which is regarded as the limit of the maximum achievable speed of electronic circuits. In contrast, the magnetic moment of matter has only been able to be influenced up to now by a light and magnetism-linked process and roundabout way by means of magnetic fields, which is why magnetic switching takes that much longer and at least several hundred femtoseconds.
A consortium of researchers from the Max Planck Institutes for Quantum Optics and for Microstructure Physics, of the Max Born Institute, at the University of Greifswald and Graz University of Technology have only now been able to manipulate the magnetic properties of a ferromagnetic material on a time scale of electrical field oscillations of visible light—and thus in sync with the electrical properties—by means of laser pulses. This influence was able to be accelerated by a factor of 200 and was measured and represented using time-resolved attosecond spectroscopy. The researchers described their experiment in the journal Nature.
Attosecond - Spectroscopy - Materials - Laser - Pulses
In attosecond spectroscopy, magnetic materials are bombarded with ultra-short laser pulses and electronically influenced. "The light flashes set off an intrinsic and usually delaying process in the material. The electronic excitation is translated into a change in magnetic properties," explains Martin Schultze, who until recently worked at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Munich, but who is now professor at the Institute of Experimental Physics at TU Graz. Due to the combination of a...
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