Unraveling the origin of ultrafast demagnetization in multisublattice ferromagnetic materials requires femtosecond x-ray techniques to trace the magnetic moment dynamics on individual elements, but this could not yet be achieved in the hard x-ray regime. We demonstrate here the first ultrafast demagnetization dynamics in the ferromagnetic heavy 5d-transition metal Pt using circularly-polarized hard x-rays at an x-ray free electron laser (XFEL). The decay time of laser-induced demagnetization of L10-FePt is determined to be τpt = 0.61 ± 0.04 using time-resolved x-ray magnetic circular dichroism at the Pt L3 edge, whereas magneto-optical Kerr measurements indicate the decay time for the total magnetization as τtotal < 0.1. A transient magnetic state with a photo-modulated ratio of the 3d and 5d magnetic moments is demonstrated for pump-probe delays larger than 1 ps. We explain this distinct photo-modulated transient magnetic state by the induced-moment behavior of the Pt atom and the x-ray probing depth. Our findings pave the way for the future use of XFELs to disentangle atomic spin dynamics contributions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)