3.2 Solids and Nanostructures: Electrons, Spins, and Phonons

Project coordinators: M. Woerner, C. Korff Schmising, von, S. Sharma

T4: Magnetism and transient electronic structure

We aim to understand how fundamental interactions in magnetism like spin-orbit coupling, exchange interaction, and spin dependent electron transport govern the ultrafast response of magnetic order after optical excitation. Currently, we focus on ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic metallic thin films and multilayers and explore the influence of magnetic and chemical nanoscale inhomogeneities on ultrafast spin dynamics and ultrafast magnetic switching. Furthermore, we design and manufacture plasmonic structures for subwavelength confinement of the optical excitation to achieve control of magnetism on the nanoscale.


In addition to time resolved all-optical spectroscopy we use novel light sources like free electron X-ray lasers and high harmonic sources in the extreme ultraviolet spectral range to probe the transient magnetic state via element-specific magnetic dichroic spectroscopy and small angle scattering. These experimental methods give us detailed information on the distinct dynamics in multicomponent magnetic systems with a femtosecond temporal and nanometer spatial resolution. Our experimental efforts are supported by ab-initio density functional theory (DFT) developed in the condensed matter theory group.


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