Publications by authors named "Kathinka Gerlinger"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Observation of fluctuation-mediated picosecond nucleation of a topological phase.

Nat Mater 2021 Jan 5;20(1):30-37. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

European XFEL, Schenefeld, Germany.

Topological states of matter exhibit fascinating physics combined with an intrinsic stability. A key challenge is the fast creation of topological phases, which requires massive reorientation of charge or spin degrees of freedom. Here we report the picosecond emergence of an extended topological phase that comprises many magnetic skyrmions. The nucleation of this phase, followed in real time via single-shot soft X-ray scattering after infrared laser excitation, is mediated by a transient topological fluctuation state. This state is enabled by the presence of a time-reversal symmetry-breaking perpendicular magnetic field and exists for less than 300 ps. Atomistic simulations indicate that the fluctuation state largely reduces the topological energy barrier and thereby enables the observed rapid and homogeneous nucleation of the skyrmion phase. These observations provide fundamental insights into the nature of topological phase transitions, and suggest a path towards ultrafast topological switching in a wide variety of materials through intermediate fluctuating states.
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January 2021

A tabletop setup for ultrafast helicity-dependent and element-specific absorption spectroscopy and scattering in the extreme ultraviolet spectral range.

Rev Sci Instrum 2020 Sep;91(9):093001

Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie, Max-Born-Straße 2A, 12489 Berlin, Germany.

Further advances in the field of ultrafast magnetization dynamics require experimental tools to measure the spin and electron dynamics with element-specificity and femtosecond temporal resolution. We present a new laboratory setup for two complementary experiments with light in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectral range. One experiment is designed for polarization-dependent transient spectroscopy, particularly for simultaneous measurements of magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) at the 3p resonances of the 3d transition metals Fe, Co, and Ni. The second instrument is designed for resonant small-angle scattering experiments with monochromatic light allowing us to monitor spin dynamics with spatial information on the nanometer scale. We combine a high harmonic generation (HHG) source with a phase shifter to obtain XUV pulses with variable polarization and a flux of about (3 ± 1) × 10 photons/s/harmonic at 60 eV at the source. A dedicated reference spectrometer effectively reduces the intensity fluctuations of the HHG spectrum to below 0.12% rms. We demonstrate the capabilities of the setup by capturing the energy- and polarization-dependent absorption of a thin Co film as well as the time-resolved small-angle scattering in a magnetic-domain network of a Co/Pt multilayer. The new laboratory setup allows systematic studies of optically induced spin and electron dynamics with element-specificity, particularly with MCD as the contrast mechanism with femtosecond temporal resolution and an unprecedented signal-to-noise ratio.
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September 2020