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      Capturing ultrafast magnetic dynamics by time-resolved soft x-ray magnetic circular dichroism


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          Experiments of time-resolved x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (Tr-XMCD) and resonant x-ray scattering at a beamline BL07LSU in SPring-8 with a time-resolution of under 50 ps are presented. A micro-channel plate is utilized for the Tr-XMCD measurements at nearly normal incidence both in the partial electron and total fluorescence yield (PEY and TFY) modes at the L2,3 absorption edges of the 3d transition-metals in the soft x-ray region. The ultrafast photo-induced demagnetization within 50 ps is observed on the dynamics of a magnetic material of FePt thin film, having a distinct threshold of the photon density. The spectrum in the PEY mode is less-distorted both at the L2,3 edges compared with that in the TFY mode and has the potential to apply the sum rule analysis for XMCD spectra in pump-probed experiments.

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          Resolving the role of femtosecond heated electrons in ultrafast spin dynamics

          Magnetization manipulation is essential for basic research and applications. A fundamental question is, how fast can the magnetization be reversed in nanoscale magnetic storage media. When subject to an ultrafast laser pulse, the speed of the magnetization dynamics depends on the nature of the energy transfer pathway. The order of the spin system can be effectively influenced through spin-flip processes mediated by hot electrons. It has been predicted that as electrons drive spins into the regime close to almost total demagnetization, characterized by a loss of ferromagnetic correlations near criticality, a second slower demagnetization process takes place after the initial fast drop of magnetization. By studying FePt, we unravel the fundamental role of the electronic structure. As the ferromagnet Fe becomes more noble in the FePt compound, the electronic structure is changed and the density of states around the Fermi level is reduced, thereby driving the spin correlations into the limit of critical fluctuations. We demonstrate the impact of the electrons and the ferromagnetic interactions, which allows a general insight into the mechanisms of spin dynamics when the ferromagnetic state is highly excited, and identifies possible recording speed limits in heat-assisted magnetization reversal.

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            5 pages, 5 figures
            physics.ins-det cond-mat.mtrl-sci

            Condensed matter,Technical & Applied physics
            Condensed matter, Technical & Applied physics


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