Theory of Ultrafast Demagnetization after Femtosecond Laser Pulses
M. Fähnle, Ch. Illg, M. Haag and N. Teeny
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Heisenbergstr. 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
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Experimentally it has been found that a ferromagnetic metallic film is strongly demagnetized within few hundred fs after exposure to a fs laser pulse. The theories of this ultrafast demagnetization are reviewed, especially the influence of scatterings of the excited electrons at phonons and at magnons. The calculations for phonons and magnons are performed by the ab initio spin-density-functional electron theory for Ni and Fe, and they are based on Fermi's golden rule for transition rates. The application of this rule on the fs time scale is critically discussed in view of results from quantum-kinetic density-matrix calculations. It is shown that the experimentally observed demagnetization rates cannot be explained by spin-flip scatterings of electrons exclusively at phonons or exclusively at magnons. A combination of individual spin-flip electron-phonon and spin-flip electron-magnon processes is shown to be a potential candidate for the explanation of ultrafast demagnetization.

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.127.170
PACS numbers: 75.78.Jp, 75.30.Ds, 75.40.Gb