Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Margaret M. Murnane

Second Advisor

Henry C. Kapteyn

Third Advisor

Heather Lewandowski

Fourth Advisor

Steven J. Pollock


Even twenty years after the discovery of ultrafast demagnetization of ferromagnetic materials induced by a femtosecond laser pulse there is still an ongoing debate about the mechanisms that drive the process. Surprisingly, a comprehensive study that compares demagnetization dynamics in different materials on equal footing is lacking. Yet, the scientific community would greatly benefit from such study. We fill this gap by performing a systematic comparison of ultrafast demagnetization behavior in Iron, Cobalt and Nickel, the simplest itinerant ferromagnets, under a wide range of pump fluences. In this experiment, we utilize a tabletop broadband extreme ultraviolet source to probe magnetization dynamics at the M2,3 absorption edges of these three elements using the transverse magneto-optical Kerr effect. The obtained data can be used to inform theory and, thereby, assist in resolving the remaining questions about the micro- and macroscopic mechanisms behind ultrafast laser-induced magnetization dynamics in materials.