Jian Liu, an assistant professor of physics, and a team of scientists have used light-driven experimental techniques to both manipulate and reveal the magnetic properties in materials. Using synchronized infrared and x-ray laser pulses to switch between magnetic states—in this case with unprecedented precision—could one day revolutionize how data is read and written in computers and other digital devices. The research was published recently in Nature Materials.
Using time-resolved resonant inelastic scattering, researchers were able to see subtle spin correlations in a compound comprising strontium, iridium, and oxygen. Spin—just like charge—is an intrinsic property of an electron. Spin correlations travel as waves through a material and define its magnetic properties both statically and dynamically. In this work, a key revelation was that temporal spin correlations behaved differently in two- and three-dimensional spaces when sparked by an infrared laser pulse.
Continue reading on the Department of Physics and Astronomy website.