Canted spin order as a platform for ultrafast conversion of magnons

Leenders, R A and Afanasiev, D and Kimel, A V and Mikhaylovskiy, R V (2024) Canted spin order as a platform for ultrafast conversion of magnons. Nature, 630. pp. 335-339. ISSN 0028-0836

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Traditionally, magnetic solids are divided into two main classes—ferromagnets and antiferromagnets with parallel and antiparallel spin orders, respectively. Although normally the antiferromagnets have zero magnetization, in some of them an additional antisymmetric spin–spin interaction arises owing to a strong spin–orbit coupling and results in canting of the spins, thereby producing net magnetization. The canted antiferromagnets combine antiferromagnetic order with phenomena typical of ferromagnets and hold great potential for spintronics and magnonics1–5. In this way, they can be identified as closely related to the recently proposed new class of magnetic materials called altermagnets6–9. Altermagnets are predicted to have strong magneto-optical effects, terahertz-frequency spin dynamics and degeneracy lifting for chiral spin waves10 (that is, all of the effects present in the canted antiferromagnets11, 12). Here, by utilizing these unique phenomena, we demonstrate a new functionality of canted spin order for magnonics and show that it facilitates mechanisms converting a magnon at the centre of the Brillouin zone into propagating magnons using nonlinear magnon–magnon interactions activated by an ultrafast laser pulse. Our experimental findings supported by theoretical analysis show that the mechanism is enabled by the spin canting.

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12 Jun 2024 08:40
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20 Jun 2024 08:40