All-optical spin switching is a potential trailblazer for information storage and communication at an unprecedented fast rate free of magnetic fields. However, the current wisdom is largely based on semiempirical models of effective magnetic fields and heat pulses, so it is difficult to provide high-speed design protocols for actual devices. Here, we carry out a massively parallel first-principles and model calculation for 13 spin systems and magnetic layers, free of any effective field, to establish a simpler and alternative paradigm of laser-induced ultrafast spin reversal and to point out a path to a full-integrated photospintronic device. It is the interplay of the optical selection rule and sublattice spin orderings that underlines seemingly irreconcilable helicity-dependent and -independent switchings. Using realistic experimental parameters, we predict that strong ferrimagnets, in particular, Laves phase C15 rare-earth alloys, meet the telecommunication energy requirement of 10 fJ, thus allowing a cost-effective subpicosecond laser to switch spin in the gigahertz region.
Physical Review B
George, Thomas; Zhang, G.P.; Babyak, Z.; Xue, Y.; and Bai, Y., "First-Principles and Model Simulation of All-Optical Spin Reversal" (2017). Chemistry & Biochemistry Faculty Works. 2.