Spintronics is postulated on the possibility to employ the magnetic degree of freedom of electrons for computation and couple it to charges. In this view the combination of the high frequency of spin manipulations offered by antiferromagnets, with the wide tunability of the electronic properties peculiar of semiconductors, provides a promising and intriguing platform. Here we explore this scenario in α-MnTe, which is a semiconductor antiferromagnetically ordered at room temperature. Relying on a Raman mechanism and femtosecond laser pulses, we drive degenerate modes of coherent optical phonons, which modulate the chemical bonds involved in the superexchange interaction. The spectrally resolved measurements of the transient reflectivity reveal a coherent modulation of the band gap at the frequency of 5.3 THz. The detection of the rotation of the polarization, typically associated with magneto-optical effects, shows coherent and incoherent contributions. Modeling how the ionic motion induced by the phonons affects the exchange interaction in the material, we calculate the photoinduced THz spin dynamics: the results predict both a coherent and incoherent response, the latter of which is consistent with the experimental observation. Our work demonstrates that the same phonon modes modulate both the charge and magnetic degree of freedom, suggesting the resonant pumping of phonons as a viable way to link spin and charge dynamics even in nonlinear regimes.

Femtosecond phononic coupling to both spins and charges in a room-temperature antiferromagnetic semiconductor

D. Bossini;S. Dal Conte;M. Terschanski;G. Cerullo;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Spintronics is postulated on the possibility to employ the magnetic degree of freedom of electrons for computation and couple it to charges. In this view the combination of the high frequency of spin manipulations offered by antiferromagnets, with the wide tunability of the electronic properties peculiar of semiconductors, provides a promising and intriguing platform. Here we explore this scenario in α-MnTe, which is a semiconductor antiferromagnetically ordered at room temperature. Relying on a Raman mechanism and femtosecond laser pulses, we drive degenerate modes of coherent optical phonons, which modulate the chemical bonds involved in the superexchange interaction. The spectrally resolved measurements of the transient reflectivity reveal a coherent modulation of the band gap at the frequency of 5.3 THz. The detection of the rotation of the polarization, typically associated with magneto-optical effects, shows coherent and incoherent contributions. Modeling how the ionic motion induced by the phonons affects the exchange interaction in the material, we calculate the photoinduced THz spin dynamics: the results predict both a coherent and incoherent response, the latter of which is consistent with the experimental observation. Our work demonstrates that the same phonon modes modulate both the charge and magnetic degree of freedom, suggesting the resonant pumping of phonons as a viable way to link spin and charge dynamics even in nonlinear regimes.
2021
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2110.15173.pdf

accesso aperto

: Pre-Print (o Pre-Refereeing)
Dimensione 2.18 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.18 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1227561
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 9
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact