Ultrashort optical pulses can trigger a variety of non-equilibrium processes in magnetic thin films affecting electrons and spins on femtosecond timescales. In order to probe the charge and magnetic degrees of freedom simultaneously, we developed an X-ray streaking technique that has the advantage of providing a jitter-free picture of absorption cross-section changes. In this paper, we present an experiment based on this approach, which we performed using five photon probing energies at the Ni M2,3-edges. This allowed us to retrieve the absorption and magnetic circular dichroism time traces, yielding detailed information on transient modifications of electron and spin populations close to the Fermi level. Our findings suggest that the observed absorption and magnetic circular dichroism dynamics both depend on the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) probing wavelength, and can be described, at least qualitatively, by assuming ultrafast energy shifts of the electronic and magnetic elemental absorption resonances, as reported in recent work. However, our analysis also hints at more complex changes, highlighting the need for further experimental and theoretical studies in order to gain a thorough understanding of the interplay of electronic and spin degrees of freedom in optically excited magnetic thin films.
- Magnetic circular dichroism
- Ultrafast spectroscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes