Effect of laser pulse propagation on ultrafast magnetization dynamics in a birefringent medium
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Physics : Condensed Matter, 29, 16, (2017), pp. 1-10, article 164004
Article / Letter to editor
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Spectroscopy of Solids and Interfaces
Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Correlated Materials
Journal of Physics : Condensed Matter
SubjectSpectroscopy of Solids and Interfaces
Light propagation effects can strongly influence the excitation and the detection of laser-induced magnetization dynamics. We investigated experimentally and analytically the effects of crystallographic linear birefringence on the excitation and detection of ultrafast magnetization dynamics in the rare-earth orthoferrites (Sm 0.5 Pr 0.5 )FeO 3 and (Sm 0.55 Tb 0.45 )FeO 3 , which possess weak and strong linear birefringence, respectively. Our finding is that the effect of linear birefringence on the result of a magneto-optical pump-probe experiment strongly depends on the mechanism of excitation. When magnetization dynamics, probed by means of the Faraday effect, is excited via a rapid, heat-induced phase transition, the measured rotation of the probe pulse polarization is strongly suppressed due to the birefringence. This contrasts with the situation for magnetization dynamics induced by the ultrafast inverse Faraday effect, where the corresponding probe polarization rotation values were larger in the orthoferrite with strong linear birefringence. We show that this striking difference results from an interplay between the polarization transformations experienced by pump and probe pulses in the birefringent medium.
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