Femtosecond control of electric currents in metallic ferromagnetic heterostructures

Huisman, T.J. and Mikhaylovskiy, Rostislav and Costa, J.D. and Freimuth, F. and Paz, E. and Ventura, J. and Freitas, P. P. and Blugel, S. and Mokrousov, Y. and Rasing, Th. and Kimel, A.V. (2016) Femtosecond control of electric currents in metallic ferromagnetic heterostructures. Nature Nanotechnology, 11. 455–458. ISSN 1748-3387

PDF (Huisman_NatNano2016_accepted)
Huisman_NatNano2016_accepted.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (293kB)


The idea to use not only the charge but also the spin of electrons in the operation of electronic devices has led to the development of spintronics, causing a revolution in how information is stored and processed. A novel advancement would be to develop ultrafast spintronics using femtosecond laser pulses. Employing terahertz (1012 Hz) emission spectroscopy and exploiting the spin–orbit interaction, we demonstrate the optical generation of electric photocurrents in metallic ferromagnetic heterostructures at the femtosecond timescale. The direction of the photocurrent is controlled by the helicity of the circularly polarized light. These results open up new opportunities for realizing spintronics in the unprecedented terahertz regime and provide new insights in all-optical control of magnetism.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Nature Nanotechnology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
14 Mar 2019 10:10
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 07:11