A05 Spin+Strain: Influence of static and dynamic strain on magnetic ordering and anisotropy
Project A05 investigates the relation between structural and magnetic, i.e. spin-related, properties as one of the most fundamental aspects of solid state physics. In order to understand the influence of strain on magnetic ordering and anisotropy, the most direct approach is to actively distort the crystal structure by external means thereby changing interatomic distances. Structural distortions allow for voltage controlled switching of thin magnetic films on piezoelectric substrates, presenting new pathways for future spintronics with low energy consumption. Combined with novel materials, like the antiferromagnet Mn2Au with strong spin-orbit coupling and broken inversion symmetry on the spin sublattices, new spintronics concepts and devices are envisioned and using a prototypical iron compound the effect of strain on steel will be studied. We will apply strain not only statically, but utilize ultrafast laser pulses to generate picosecond strain pulses. Time-resolved studies are aimed to study the fundamental speed limits of potential spintronics devices, as well as the nature of the coupling between the spin and lattice degrees of freedom.
Aim 1: Understanding the influence of quasi-static strain on the magnetic and electronic properties of antiferromagnetic Mn2Au and ferromagnetic Fe1-xSix (firstname.lastname@example.org) as a model system for steel;
Aim 2: Understanding the interplay between magnetism and structural distortions on the (sub)picosecond timescale: from magnetic shape memory alloys to switching of magnetic state by picosecond strain pulses.