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Element-selective insights into magnetism within reach of any laboratory

IFF-News October 05, 2010

In a current issue of Physical Review B, physicists at IFF and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin/BESSY present a promising experimental technique. It allows for element-selective and ultra-fast investigations of magnetic properties in multilayer systems consisting of nanometre thin magnetic films. The scientists used it to investigate magnetic switching processes. Such multilayer systems are of interest for both fundamental research and also for application-oriented technology. A deeper understanding of the properties paves the way to developing technologies for faster, smaller and more economical data processing and storage devices, for example.

"This technique is going to be available in any optical laboratory in the near future", says Prof. Claus Schneider, head of the IFF institute "Electronic Properties". It overcomes the restrictions of previous methods that either require highly specialized and rarely available infrastructure, such as large-scale synchrotron radiation facilities, or else lack the required performance, such as laser-based techniques.

The method is based on reflectivity experiments in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) range and benefits from recently developed table-top soft x-ray sources that manage to produce ultra-fast and coherent XUV light with moderate effort. "Since this region of the electromagnetic spectrum is located in between the visible and soft x-ray range, its interaction with matter combines the characteristics of both spectral regions thus potentially contributing an additional perspective", says principal author Patrick Grychtol.

Original publication:
Resonant magnetic reflectivity in the extreme ultraviolet spectral range: Interlayer-coupled Co/Si/Ni/Fe multilayer system
P. Grychtol, R. Adam, S. Valencia, S. Cramm, D. E. Bürgler, and C. M. Schneider;
Phys. Rev. B 82, 054433 (2010)

IFF-9 Electronic Properties


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