Competing Spin Transfer and Dissipation at Co/Cu (001) Interfaces on Femtosecond Timescales

J. Chen, U. Bovensiepen, A. Eschenlohr, T. Müller, P. Elliott, E. K.U. Gross, J. K. Dewhurst, S. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


By combining interface-sensitive nonlinear magneto-optical experiments with femtosecond time resolution and ab initio time-dependent density functional theory, we show that optically excited spin dynamics at Co/Cu(001) interfaces proceeds via spin-dependent charge transfer and back transfer between Co and Cu. This ultrafast spin transfer competes with dissipation of spin angular momentum mediated by spin-orbit coupling already on sub 100 fs timescales. We thereby identify the fundamental microscopic processes during laser-induced spin transfer at a model interface for technologically relevant ferromagnetic heterostructures.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number067202
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

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© 2019 American Physical Society.


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