Space-selective modification of the magnetic properties of transparent Fe3+-doped glass by femtosecond-laser irradiation
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We have demonstrated spatially selective modification of the magnetic properties of transparent iron-oxide-doped glass by femtosecond- (fs-) laser irradiation and subsequent annealing. A near-infrared fs-laser beam with a wavelength of 775 nm was focused 1 mm below the surfaces of glass samples. This produces absorption peaks due to the formation of hole-trap centers in the irradiated region. Transparency was recovered after annealing at 450°C. A ferrimagnetic component was observed in the M–H curve even at room temperature, whereas the diamagnetic component dominated in the M–H curve of the as-prepared glass sample. This indicates that fs-laser irradiation enhanced the magnetization in the irradiated area. The irradiated and annealed glass sample also exhibited superparamagnetic blocking in the temperature dependence of the magnetization with a blocking temperature higher than room temperature. This change in magnetism is presumably due to local crystallization of ferrimagnetic nanoparticles, such as magnetite, induced by fs-laser irradiation and annealing. The magnetic and optical properties of glass that had been annealed but not irradiated by a fs-laser beam remained unchanged.