Ultrafast heating as a sufficient stimulus for magnetization reversal in a ferrimagnet

Nat Commun. 2012 Feb 7;3:666. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1666.


The question of how, and how fast, magnetization can be reversed is a topic of great practical interest for the manipulation and storage of magnetic information. It is generally accepted that magnetization reversal should be driven by a stimulus represented by time-non-invariant vectors such as a magnetic field, spin-polarized electric current, or cross-product of two oscillating electric fields. However, until now it has been generally assumed that heating alone, not represented as a vector at all, cannot result in a deterministic reversal of magnetization, although it may assist this process. Here we show numerically and demonstrate experimentally a novel mechanism of deterministic magnetization reversal in a ferrimagnet driven by an ultrafast heating of the medium resulting from the absorption of a sub-picosecond laser pulse without the presence of a magnetic field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't