Magnetic control in the terahertz


Dominik M. Juraschek and Prineha Narang. 12/23/2021. “Magnetic control in the terahertz.” Science, 374, 6575, Pp. 1555-1556. Publisher's Version


Magnetic materials are central to information storage devices, with ongoing research seeking to develop faster and more energy-efficient systems. The individual bits of data, written as 1’s and 0’s, can be stored as different orientations of magnetic moments. Conventionally, an electromagnetic head is used to flip these bits between 1 and 0, and the read and write speeds using this method are currently limited to gigahertz frequencies. A substantial amount of energy is used to drive electric currents that generate the magnetic fields. Instead of manipulating magnetic moments with slow or static magnetic fields, an intriguing alternative involves coupling light from a laser to their quantum mechanical states. On page 1608 of this issue, Mashkovich et al. (1) report the coupling of light, magnetism, and the crystal structure of a material, which opens new possibilities for controlling the magnetic state of materials on very short time scales.