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Monday, January 9, 2017
Abstract-Selective Excitation of Terahertz Magnetic and Electric Dipoles in Er3+ Ions by Femtosecond Laser Pulses in ErFeO3
R. V. Mikhaylovskiy, T. J. Huisman, R. V. Pisarev, Th. Rasing, and A. V. Kimel
Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 017205 – Published 6 January 2017
We show that femtosecond laser pulse excitation of the orthoferrite ErFeO3 triggers pico- and subpicosecond dynamics of magnetic and electric dipoles associated with the low energy electronic states of the Er3+ ions. These dynamics are readily revealed by using polarization sensitive terahertz emission spectroscopy. It is shown that by changing the polarization of the femtosecond laser pulse one can excite either electric dipole-active or magnetic dipole-active transitions between the Kramers doublets of the I415/2 ground state of the Er3+ (4f11) ions. These observations serve as a proof of principle of polarization-selective control of both electric and magnetic degrees of freedom at terahertz frequencies, opening up new vistas for optical manipulation of magnetoelectric materials.