Spin-based electronics (spintronics) aims at extending electronic functionalities, which rely on the electron charge as information carrier, by the spin of the electron. Spintronics has large application potential in information storage and processing, but also in areas such as sensing and photonics. To make spintronic operations competitive and compatible with other information carriers like photons and electrons, their speed needs to be pushed to femtosecond time scales and, thus, terahertz frequencies.
In ultrafast spintronics, femtosecond optical laser pulses and, more recently, terahertz electromagnetic pulses are used to induce spin torque and spin transport and to monitor the subsequent time evolution. The two approaches, sometimes referred to as femto-magnetism and terahertz magnetism, have provided new, surprising, and relevant insights as well as applications for spintronics. Examples include the ultrafast optical switching of magnetic order and the generation of broadband terahertz electromagnetic fields.
This APL Special Topic is dedicated to providing a platform for the newest developments and future trends in the very active, dynamic, and exciting research field of ultrafast spintronics.
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
- Theory of ultrafast spin dynamics
- Ultrafast spin transport
- Terahertz magnetism
- Ultrafast switching of magnetic order
- Ultrafast microscopic spintronic processes
Tobias Kampfrath, Freie Universität Berlin and Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society
Sangeeta Sharma, Max Born Institute
Martin Weinelt, Freie Universität Berlin
Andrei Kirilyuk, Radboud University Nijmegen
Stéphane Mangin, Institut Jean Lamour, University of Lorraine
Alessandro Tredicucci, Pisa University