Single-shot time-resolved magnetic x-ray absorption at a free-electron laser

Abstract : Ultrafast dynamics are generally investigated using stroboscopic pump-probe measurements, which characterize the sample properties for a single, specific time delay. These measurements are then repeated for a series of discrete time delays to reconstruct the overall time trace of the process. As a consequence, this approach is limited to the investigation of fully reversible phenomena. We recently introduced an off-axis zone plate based x-ray streaking technique, which overcomes this limitation by sampling the relaxation dynamics with a single femtosecond x-ray pulse streaked over a picosecond long time window. In this article we show that the x-ray absorption cross section can be employed as the contrast mechanism in this novel technique. We show that changes of the absorption cross section on the percent level can be resolved with this method. To this end we measure the ultrafast magnetization dynamics in CoDy alloy films. Investigating different chemical compositions and infrared pump fluences, we demonstrate the routine applicability of this technique. Probing in transmission the average magnetization dynamics of the entire film, our experimental findings indicate that the demagnetization time is independent of the specific infrared laser pump fluence. These results pave the way for the investigation of irreversible phenomena in a wide variety of scientific areas.
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Emmanuelle Jal, Mikako Makita, Benedikt Rösner, Christian David, Frithjof Nolting, et al.. Single-shot time-resolved magnetic x-ray absorption at a free-electron laser. Physical Review B : Condensed matter and materials physics, American Physical Society, 2019, 99 (144305), ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.99.144305⟩. ⟨hal-02161961⟩

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