CASUS Institute Seminar, PD Dr. Peter Elliott, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy in the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., Berlin (Germany)

The ultrafast spin dynamics following laser excitation to a highly non-equilibrium state can be used to control the magnetic moment of materials on femtosecond timescales, several orders of magnitude faster than traditional methods. In the past few years, Peter’s team has applied real-time time dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) to study this problem and provide a long overdue ab-initio perspective. In particular, they predicted a phenomenon named optical inter-sublattice spin transfer OISTR, whereby transfer of minority spin between atoms becomes the dominate effect. Following this prediction, the signature of OISTR has seen been observed experimentally for several materials including Heusler compounds, Co/Cu interfaces, Ni/Pt multilayers, CoPt, FeNi, among others. In this talk Peter will review the findings so far and hopes to convince the audience that ultrafast spin dynamics has been a real success story for TDDFT.