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Report No.
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Laser-induced creation of antiferromagnetic 180-degree domains in NiO/Pt bilayers

Meer, H.*; Wust, S.*; Schmitt, C.*; Herrgen, P.*; Fuhrmann, F.*; Hirtle, S.*; Bednarz, B.*; Rajan, A.*; Ramos, R.*; Ni$~n$o, M. A.*; Foerster, M.*; Kronast, F.*; Kleibert, A.*; Rethfeld, B.*; Saito, Eiji; Stadtm$"u$ller, B.*; Aeschlimann, M.*; Kl$"a$ui, M.*

The antiferromagnetic order in heterostructures of NiO/Pt thin films can be modified by optical pulses. After the irradiation with laser light, the optically induced creation of antiferromagnetic domains can be observed by imaging the created domain structure utilizing the X-ray magnetic linear dichroism effect. The effect of different laser polarizations on the domain formation can be studied and used to identify a polarization-independent creation of 180$$^{circ}$$ domain walls and domains with 180$$^{circ}$$ different N$'e$el vector orientation. By varying the irradiation parameters, the switching mechanism can be determined to be thermally induced. This study demonstrates experimentally the possibility to optically create antiferromagnetic domains, an important step towards future functionalization of all optical switching mechanisms in antiferromagnets.

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