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      Perspective: Ultrafast magnetism and THz spintronics

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          Abstract

          This year the discovery of femtosecond demagnetization by laser pulses is 20 years old. For the first time this milestone work by Bigot and coworkers gave insight in a very direct way into the time scales of microscopic interactions that connect the spin and electron system. While intense discussions in the field were fueled by the complexity of the processes in the past, it now became evident that it is a puzzle of many different parts. Rather than giving an overview that has been presented in previous reviews on ultrafast processes in ferromagnets, this perspective will show that with our current depth of knowledge the first real applications are on their way: THz spintronics and all-optical spin manipulation are becoming more and more feasible. The aim of this perspective is to point out where we can connect the different puzzle pieces of understanding gathered over 20 years to develop novel applications. based on many observations in a large number of experiments. Differences in the theoretical models arise from the localized and delocalized nature of ferromagnetism. Transport effects are intrinsically non-local in spintronic devices and at interfaces. We review the need for multiscale modeling to address processes starting from electronic excitation of the spin system on the picometer length scale and sub-femtosecond time scale, to spin wave generation, and towards the modeling of ultrafast phase transitions that altogether determine the response time of the ferromagnetic system. Today, our current understanding gives rise to the first real applications of ultrafast spin physics for ultrafast magnetism control: THz spintronic devices. This makes the field of ultrafast spin-dynamics an emerging topic open for many researchers right now.

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          Most cited references 125

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          Giant Magnetoresistance of (001)Fe/(001)Cr Magnetic Superlattices

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            Spin torque switching with the giant spin Hall effect of tantalum

            We report a giant spin Hall effect (SHE) in {\beta}-Ta that generates spin currents intense enough to induce efficient spin-transfer-torque switching of ferromagnets, thereby providing a new approach for controlling magnetic devices that can be superior to existing technologies. We quantify this SHE by three independent methods and demonstrate spin-torque (ST) switching of both out-of-plane and in-plane magnetized layers. We implement a three-terminal device that utilizes current passing through a low impedance Ta-ferromagnet bilayer to effect switching of a nanomagnet, with a higher-impedance magnetic tunnel junction for read-out. The efficiency and reliability of this device, together with its simplicity of fabrication, suggest that this three-terminal SHE-ST design can eliminate the main obstacles currently impeding the development of magnetic memory and non-volatile spin logic technologies.
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              Theory of the perpendicular magnetoresistance in magnetic multilayers

               T. Valet,  A Fert (1993)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2016-06-28
                Article
                10.1063/1.4958846
                1606.08725

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                J. Appl. Phys. 120, 140901 (2016)
                24 pages, 11 figures, review
                cond-mat.mes-hall

                Nanophysics

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