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Light-Induced magnetization at the nanoscale

PRL front cover of Volume 128, Issue 15, 15 April 2022

PRL front cover of Volume 128, Issue 15, 15 April 2022

Together with an internatonal team of colleagues, TRR227 PI J. Berakdar (project B06) and coworkers published their latest results on magnetizing an atomic gas with light in the APS journal Physical Review Letters. The theorists predict that an atomic gas could be magnetized using high-power lasers with patterned wavefronts, something that could provide a noninvasive way to quickly manipulate the magnetic properties of the gas.

The paper was recently highlighted on the front cover of the Vol. 128, Issue 15, 15 April 2022. In addition, it was covered by a Synopsis in Physics with the title "Magnetizing an Atomic Gas with Light".

News from Apr 15, 2022

Triggering and switching magnetic moments is of key importance for applications ranging from spintronics to quantum information. A noninvasive ultrafast control at the nanoscale is, however, an open challenge. In their paper, the authors propose a novel laser-based scheme for generating atomic-scale charge current loops within femtoseconds. The associated orbital magnetic moments remain ferromagnetically aligned after the laser pulses have ceased and are localized within an area that is tunable via laser parameters and can be chosen to be well below the diffraction limit of the driving laser field.

In the experiment, the authors used He atoms driven by an ultraviolet and infrared vortex-beam laser pulses to generate current-carrying Rydberg states and test for the generated magnetic moments via dichroic effects in photoemission. Ab initio quantum dynamic simulations and analysis confirm the proposed scenario and provide a quantitative estimate of the generated local moments.

Light-induced magnetization at the nanoscale 
J. Wätzel, P. R. Ribič, M. Coreno, M. B. Danailov, C. David, A. Demidovich, M. Di Fraia, L. Giannessi, K. Hansen, Š. Krušič, M. Manfredda, M. Meyer, A. Mihelič, N. Mirian, O. Plekan, B. Ressel, B. Rösner, A. Simoncig, S. Spampinati, M. Stupar, M. Žitnik, M. Zangrando, C. Callegari, J. Berakdar, and G. De Ninno 
Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 157205 (2022)  - DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.157205

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