Ultrafast optically-induced magnetization and conductivity dynamics in the europium chalcogenides

Michiel Donker

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The drive for technological innovation and fundamental knowledge acquisition ensures that researchers around the world are working on the development of new materials and on the control of the physical properties of these materials. Extremely interesting are the so-called magnetic semiconductors. The term semiconductor refers to the electrical properties (conduction) of a material. A well-known example of a semiconductor is silicon that is widely used in transistors in computer chips. Also (ferro) magnetic materials are widely used in different applications. Think for instance of the cobalt-based alloys that are used as data storage medium in hard drives.

My studies focus on a well-known, but exotic group of magnetic semiconductors: the europium chalcogenides. Interesting is that in these materials there is a strong correlation between the electrical properties (conduction) and the magnetic properties. The reason behind this correlation is still not completely understood.

The intriguing electrical and magnetic properties of the europium chalcogenides are studied using a variety of modern optical experimental techniques. Making use of strong, ultra-short (100-quadrillionth of a second) laser pulses, the physical properties of the material were optically adjusted. The optically-induced changes in the magnetic and electrical properties provide new information about the origin behind the correlation between these properties. The experimental data can be interpreted assuming that several kind of so-called quasi-particles are formed, namely magnetic excitons and magnetic polarons.
Translated title of the contributionUltrasnelle optisch geïnduceerde magnetisatie en geleidbaarheid dynamica in de europium chalcogeniden
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • van Loosdrecht, Paulus, Supervisor
Award date20-Jun-2014
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7008-8
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7007-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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