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Electric current induced ultrafast demagnetization


We report the magnetic response of Co/Pt multilayers to picosecond electrical heating. Using photoconductive Auston switches, we generate electrical pulses with 5.5 ps duration and hundreds of pico-Joules to pass through Co/Pt multilayers. The electrical pulse heats the electrons in the Co/Pt multilayers and causes an ultrafast reduction in the magnetic moment. A comparison between optical and electrically induced demagnetization of the Co/Pt multilayers reveals significantly different dynamics for optical vs electrical heating. We attribute the disparate dynamics to the dependence of the electron-phonon interaction on the average energy and the total number of initially excited electrons.

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