Imaging Precessional Motion of the Magnetization Vector

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Science  20 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5491, pp. 492-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5491.492

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We report on imaging of three-dimensional precessional orbits of the magnetization vector in a magnetic field by means of a time-resolved vectorial Kerr experiment that measures all three components of the magnetization vector with picosecond resolution. Images of the precessional mode taken with submicrometer spatial resolution reveal that the dynamical excitation in this time regime roughly mirrors the symmetry of the underlying equilibrium spin configuration and that its propagation has a non-wavelike character. These results should form the basis for realistic models of the magnetization dynamics in a largely unexplored but technologically increasingly relevant time scale.

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