Spatially resolved ultrafast magnetic dynamics launched at a complex-oxide hetero-interface

M. Först, A. D. Caviglia, R. Scherwitzl, R. Mankowsky, P. Zubko, V. Khanna, H. Bromberger, S. B. Wilkins, Y. -D. Chuang, W. S. Lee, W. F. Schlotter, J. J. Turner, G. L. Dakovski, M. P. Minitti, J. Robinson, S. R. Clark, D. Jaksch, J. -M. Triscone, J. P. Hill, S. S. DhesiA. Cavalleri

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Static strain in complex oxide heterostructures has been extensively used to engineer electronic and magnetic properties at equilibrium. In the same spirit, deformations of the crystal lattice with light may be used to achieve functional control across hetero-interfaces dynamically. Here, by exciting large amplitude infrared-active vibrations in a LaAlO3 substrate we induce magnetic order melting in a NdNiO3 film across a hetero-interface. Femtosecond Resonant Soft X-ray Diffraction is used to determine the spatial and temporal evolution of the magnetic disordering. We observe a magnetic melt front that grows from the substrate interface into the film, at a speed that suggests electronically driven propagation. Light control and ultrafast phase front propagation at hetero-interfaces may lead to new opportunities in optomagnetism, for example by driving domain wall motion to transport information across suitably designed devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883–888
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Early online date6 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


  • cond-mat.str-el
  • cond-mat.mtrl-sci


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