All-optical control of ferromagnetic thin films and nanostructures

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Science  21 Aug 2014:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1253493

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The interplay of light and magnetism allowed light to be used as a probe of magnetic materials. Now, the focus has shifted to use polarized light to alter or manipulate magnetism. Here, we demonstrate optical control of ferromagnetic materials ranging from magnetic thin films to multilayers and even granular films being explored for ultra-high-density magnetic recording. Our finding shows that optical control of magnetic materials is a much more general phenomenon than previously assumed and may have a major impact on data memory and storage industries via the integration of optical control of ferromagnetic bits.

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