Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Magnetic resonance imaging of spin-wave transport and interference in a magnetic insulator

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Science Advances  11 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 46, eabd3556
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd3556

Abstract

Spin waves—the elementary excitations of magnetic materials—are prime candidate signal carriers for low-dissipation information processing. Being able to image coherent spin-wave transport is crucial for developing interference-based spin-wave devices. We introduce magnetic resonance imaging of the microwave magnetic stray fields that are generated by spin waves as a new approach for imaging coherent spin-wave transport. We realize this approach using a dense layer of electronic sensor spins in a diamond chip, which combines the ability to detect small magnetic fields with a sensitivity to their polarization. Focusing on a thin-film magnetic insulator, we quantify spin-wave amplitudes, visualize spin-wave dispersion and interference, and demonstrate time-domain measurements of spin-wave packets. We theoretically explain the observed anisotropic spin-wave patterns in terms of chiral spin-wave excitation and stray-field coupling to the sensor spins. Our results pave the way for probing spin waves in atomically thin magnets, even when embedded between opaque materials.

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