All-optical pump-probe measurements of magnetization dynamics have been performed upon epitaxial Co2 MnSi (001) Heusler alloy thin films annealed at temperatures of 300, 400, and 450°C. An ultrafast laser-induced modification of the magnetocrystalline anisotropy triggers precession which is detected by time-resolved magneto-optical Kerr effect measurements. From the damped oscillatory Kerr rotation, the frequency and relaxation rate of the precession is determined. Using a macrospin solution of the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation the effective fields acting upon the sample magnetization are deduced. This reveals that the magnetization is virtually independent of the annealing temperature while the fourfold magnetocrystalline anisotropy decreases dramatically with increasing annealing temperature as the film structure changes between the B2 and L 21 phases. From the measured relaxation rates, the value of the apparent Gilbert damping parameter is found to depend strongly upon the static field strength and in-plane static field orientation. The variation of the apparent damping parameter is generally well reproduced by an inhomogeneous broadening model in which the presence of B2 and L 21 phases leads to a large dispersion of the magnetocrystalline anisotropy. However, for the sample annealed at a temperature of 300°C, the lack of a detailed fit to the data suggests that the apparent anisotropy of the apparent damping parameter might alternatively arise due to a network of dislocations with fourfold symmetry.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2010 Mar 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics