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Ultrafast optical control of magnetization in EuO thin films


All-optical pump-probe detection of magnetization precession has been performed for ferromagnetic EuO thin films at 10 K. We demonstrate that the circularly-polarized light can be used to control the magnetization precession on an ultrafast time scale. This takes place within the 100 fs duration of a single laser pulse, through combined contribution from two nonthermal photomagnetic effects, i.e., enhancement of the magnetization and an inverse Faraday effect. From the magnetic field dependences of the frequency and the Gilbert damping parameter, the intrinsic Gilbert damping coefficient is evaluated to be {\alpha} \approx 3\times10^-3.