American Physical Society
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
Electron Science Research Institute
The magneto-optical properties of a hybrid metal-dielectric structure consisting of a one-dimensional gold grating on top of a magnetic waveguide layer are studied experimentally and theoretically. It is demonstrated that a magnetic field applied in the longitudinal configuration (in the plane of the magnetic film and perpendicular to the slits in the gold grating) to the metal-dielectric structure modifies the field distribution of the optical modes and thus changes the mode excitation conditions. In the optical far field, this manifests in the alteration of the optical transmittance or reflectance when the structure becomes magnetized. This magneto-optical effect is shown to represent a novel class of effects related to the magnetic-field-induced modification of the Bloch modes of the periodic hybrid structure. That is why we define this effect as "longitudinal magnetophotonic intensity effect" (LMPIE). The LMPIE has two contributions, odd and even in magnetization. While the even LMPIE is maximal for the light polarized perpendicular to the grating slits (TM) and minimal for the orthogonal polarization (TE), the odd LMPIE takes maximum values at some intermediate polarization and vanishes for pure TM and TE polarizations. Two principal modes of the magnetic layer - TM and TE - acquire in the longitudinal magnetic field additional field components and thus turn into quasi-TM and quasi-TE modes, respectively. The largest LMPIE is observed for excitation of the antisymmetrical quasi-TE mode by TM-polarized light. The value of the LMPIE measured for the plasmonic structure with a magnetic film of Bi2Dy1Fe4Ga1O12 composition is about 1% for the even effect and 2% for the odd one. However, the plasmonic structure with a magnetic film with a higher concentration of bismuth (Bi2.97Er0.03Fe4Al0.5Ga0.5O12) gives significantly larger LMPIE: even LMPIE reaches 24% and odd LMPIE is 9%. Enhancement of the magneto-optical figure of merit (defined as the ratio of the specific Faraday angle of a magnetic film to its absorption coefficient) of the magnetic films potentially causes the even LMPIE to exceed 100% as is predicted by calculations. Thus, the nanostructured material described here may be considered as an ultrafast magnetophotonic light valve.