Controlling the polarity of the transient ferromagneticlike state in ferrimagnets

U. Atxitia, J. Barker, R. W. Chantrell, O. Chubykalo-Fesenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


It was recently observed that the two antiferromagnetically coupled sublattices of a rare earth-transition metal ferrimagnet can temporarily align ferromagnetically during femtosecond laser heating, but always with the transition metal aligning in the rare earth direction. This behavior has been attributed to the slower magnetization dynamics of the rare earth sublattice. The aim of this work was to assess how the difference in the speed of the transition metal and rare earth dynamics affects the formation of the transient ferromagneticlike state and consequently controls its formation. Our investigation was performed using extensive atomistic spin simulations and analytic micromagnetic theory of ferrimagnets, with analysis of a large area of parameter space such as initial temperature, Gd concentration, and laser fluence. Surprisingly, we found that at high temperatures, close to the Curie point, the rare earth dynamics become faster than those of the transition metal. Subsequently we show that the transient state can be formed with the opposite polarity, where the rare earth aligns in the transition metal direction. Our findings shed light on the complex behavior of this class of ferrimagnetic materials and highlight an important feature which must be considered, or even exploited, if these materials are to be used in ultrafast magnetic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224421
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 30

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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