Magnetization reversal of a ferromagnetic Pt/Co/Pt film by helicity dependent absorption of visible to near-infrared laser pulses
The practical difficulty in distinguishing the impact of magnetic circular dichroism and the inverse Faraday effect fuels intense debates over which mechanism predominantly drives the process of helicity dependent all-optical switching of magnetization in ferromagnets. Here, we quantitatively measure the efficiency of the switching process in a Pt/Co/Pt multilayered stack using visible- to near-infrared optical pulses. We find that the switching efficiency increases by a factor of 8.6 upon increasing the pumping wavelength from 0.5 $ \mu $m to 1.1 $ \mu $m, becoming 100 % efficient at even longer wavelengths up to 2.0 $ \mu $m. Our experimental results can be successfully explained by the phenomenon of magnetic circular dichroism, making a significant step towards resolving the long-standing controversy over the origin of the all-optical process of magnetization reversal in ferromagnets.