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Directional control of spin-wave emission by spatially shaped light



In future spintronics it is anticipated that spin waves will function as unique information carriers that are free from Joule heating1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Directional control of spin-wave emission has been desired for the realization of switching devices. Here, we propose a promising technique that makes use of a spatially shaped light pulse with circular polarization. Focusing this light pulse on a magnet generates spin waves via the inverse Faraday effect. Moreover, the wavenumber distribution of the spin waves is determined by the spatial intensity distribution of the light spot. We demonstrate the principle of this technique both theoretically and experimentally. We successfully control the direction of the energy flow by shaping the light spot into an ellipse, with its major axis parallel or perpendicular to the magnetic field. Our findings will open up the possibility of fast and arbitrary synthesis of spin-wave patterns by using a more sophisticated light-shaping technique, for example using a computer-generated hologram8.

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Figure 1: Pump pulse-induced spin waves in comparison with ferrimagnetic resonance.
Figure 2: Two-dimensional maps of spin-wave emission.
Figure 3: Two-dimensional maps of spin wave emitted by a spatially shaped light pulse.


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The authors thank S. O. Demokritov, K. Sawada and A. Koreeda for valuable discussions, R. Iida and I. Yoshimine for technical assistance, and S. Takeda for the ferrimagnetic resonance measurements. This work was supported by KAKENHI 23104706 and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)—Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO) (T. Satoh), National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) 220-10 and Scientific and Technological Center of Ukraine (STCU) 5210 (B.A.I.). B.A.I. was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Invitation Fellowship Programs for Research in Japan.

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Authors and Affiliations



T.Satoh and R.M. initiated the study. T.Satoh and Y.T. planned the study, carried out the experiment, calculations and analysis, and wrote the manuscript. B.A.I. provided the theoretical model and wrote Supplementary Section S1b. K.A. and E.S. contributed to sample characterization. T.Shimura and K.K. supervised the study. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Takuya Satoh.

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Satoh, T., Terui, Y., Moriya, R. et al. Directional control of spin-wave emission by spatially shaped light. Nature Photon 6, 662–666 (2012).

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