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Scattering bottleneck for spin dynamics in metallic helical antiferromagnetic dysprosium

  • Author(s): Langner, MC
  • Roy, S
  • Kemper, AF
  • Chuang, Y-D
  • Mishra, SK
  • Versteeg, RB
  • Zhu, Y
  • Hertlein, MP
  • Glover, TE
  • Dumesnil, K
  • Schoenlein, RW
  • et al.
Abstract

©2015 American Physical Society. Ultrafast studies of magnetization dynamics have revealed fundamental processes that govern spin dynamics, and the emergence of time-resolved x-ray techniques has extended these studies to long-range spin structures that result from interactions with competing symmetries. By combining time-resolved resonant x-ray scattering and ultrafast magneto-optical Kerr studies, we show that the dynamics of the core spins in the helical magnetic structure occur on much longer time scales than the excitation of conduction electrons in the lanthanide metal Dy. The observed spin behavior differs markedly from that observed in the ferromagnetic phase of other lanthanide metals or transition metals and is strongly dependent on temperature and excitation fluence. This unique behavior results from coupling of the real-space helical spin structure to the shape of the conduction electron Fermi surface in momentum space, which creates a bottleneck in spin scattering events that transfer the valence excitation to the core spins. The dependence of the dynamics on the intersite interactions renders the helical ordering much more robust to perturbations than simple ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic ordering, where dynamics are driven primarily by on-site interactions.

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