This booklet collects the results of my work as a doctoral student of the Ph.D. School in Physics, Astrophysics and Applied Physics at Universit`a degli Studi di Milano, that has been carried out since November 2020 at Istituto Officina dei Materiali of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IOM-CNR) and within the framework of Nanoscale Foundries and Fine Analysis (NFFA) consortium.
My experimental activity addressed the coupling of magnetic and acoustic degrees of freedom in transition-metal ferromagnetic systems. Within the NFFA-SPRINT laboratory, hosted in the premises of the facility FERMI@Elettra (Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste), I developed a setup to perform optical Transient-Grating spectroscopy, and correlative time-resolved optical spectroscopies (time-resolved reflectivity and polarimetry). Via sub-picosecond optical pulses, acoustic and magnetic transients are impulsively generated: their intertwined evolution and decay are monitored via time-resolved optical probing.
In a first experiment, a Ni thin film was investigated via Transient-Grating spectroscopy. Acoustically-driven magnetization precession was observed at the condition of crossing of phononic and magnonic dispersions, at finite wavevector. With the aid of correlative ferromagnetic resonance measurements the boundary of applicability of the proposed experimental approach was established.
In a second experiment, time-resolved magneto-optical polarimetry was employed to investigate magneto-acoustic waves excited in a ferromagnetic nanostructured array. The details of the magnon-phonon mode crossing allowed to identify experimental features which qualify the degree of coherence in the coupling; a Hamiltonian model was proposed to account for the observations.
The present thesis work has been performed within a new-born laboratory called Spin Polar-ization Research Instrument in the Nanoscale and Time domain (SPRINT laboratory), as apart of the research infrastructures circuit NFFA-Trieste (Nano Foundries and Fine Analysis -belonging to the wider NFFA-Europe circuit) and hosted in the experimental hall of the freeelectron laser FERMI@Elettra.The SPRINT laboratory rises as an answer to the urgent request of the scientific communityof extension of photoemission spectroscopies (PES), not only energy-, but possibly also angle-and spin-resolved, to the time domain in the sub-picosecond regime. The integration of a PESapparatus within a setup for stroboscopic measurements (that is in a pump-probe scheme) pavesthe way to time resolved study of the relaxation of optically populated electronic states, thusenabling the study the ultrafast dynamics of the excitations inside the materials, with greatbenefit from both the fundamental and the technological point of view.