Voigt effect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Schematic of the polar Kerr effect, longitudinal Kerr effect and the Voigt effect

The Voigt effect is a magneto-optical phenomenon which rotates and elliptizes a linearly polarised light sended into an optically active medium.[1] Unlike many other magneto-optical effects such as the Kerr or Faraday effect which are linearly proportional to the magnetization (or to the applied magnetic field for a non magnetized material), the Voigt effect is proportional to the square of the magnetization (or square of the magnetic field) and can be seen experimentally at normal incidence. Commonly in literature, one can find several denomination for this effect such as Cotton-Moutton effect (in reference of french scientists Aimé Cotton and Henri Mouton), the Voigt effect (in reference of the German scientist Woldemar Voigt) or also as magnetic-linear birefringence. This last denomination is closer from the physical sense where the Voigt effect is a magnetic birefringence of the material with an indice of refraction parallel (n_{\parallel}) and perpendicular (n_{\perp}) to the magnetization vector or to the applied magnetic field.[2]

For an electromagnetic incident wave linearly polarized \vec{E_i} =
\cos \beta \\
\sin \beta \\
e^{-i \omega (t-n_1 z /c)} and an in-plane polarized sample \vec{m} =
\cos \phi \\
\sin \phi \\
\end{pmatrix} , the expression of the rotation in reflection geometry is \delta \beta is :

{\displaystyle \delta \beta_r = \frac{2 \Delta n}{n_0^2-1}\sin[2(\phi-\beta)] }

and in the transmission geometry :

{\displaystyle  \quad \delta \beta_t = \frac{B_1 + n_0^2 \Big[\frac{2L\omega}{c}(1+n_0) Q_i Q_r + Q_r^2-Q_i^2\Big]}{n_0 (1+n_0)}}

where \Delta n = \frac{{n_{\parallel}-n_{\perp}}}{2} is the difference of refraction indices depending of the Voigt parameter Q=Q_i+i Q_r (same as for the Kerr effect), n_0 the material refraction indices and B_1 the parameter responsible of the Voigt effect and so proportional to the M^2 or (\mu_0 H)^2 in the case of a paramagnetic material.

Detailed calculation and an illustration are given in sections below.


Framework and coordinate system for the derivation of Voigt effect. \vec{E}_i, \vec{E}_r and \vec{E}_t are referring to the incident, reflected and transmitted electromagnetic field

As the others magneto-optical effect, the theory is developed in a standard way with the use of an effective dielectric tensor from which we calculate systems eigenvalues and eigenvectors. As usual, from this tensor, magneto-optical phenomena are described mainly by the off-diagonal elements.

Here, we consider an incident polarisation propagating in the z direction : \vec{E_i} =
\cos \beta \\
\sin \beta \\
e^{-i \omega (t-n_1 z /c)} the electric field and a homogenously in-plane magnetized sample \vec{m} =
\cos \phi \\
\sin \phi \\
\end{pmatrix} where \phi is counted from the [100] crystallographic direction. The aim is to calculate \vec{E_r} =
\cos \beta+\delta \beta \\
\sin \beta+\delta \beta \\
e^{-i \omega (t+n_1 z /c)} where \delta \beta is the rotation of polarization due to the coupling of the light with the magnetization. Let us notice that \delta \beta is experimentally a small quantity of the order of mrad. \vec{m} is the reduced magnetization vector defined by \vec{m} = \vec{M}/M_s , M_s the magnetization at saturation. We emphazised with the fact that it is because the light propagation vector is perpendicular to the magnetization plane that it is possible to see the Voigt effect.

Dielectric tensor[edit]

Following the notation of Hubert,[3] the generalized dielectric cubic tensor \epsilon_r take the following form :

{\displaystyle (1) \qquad \epsilon_r = \epsilon
1 & 0 & i Q m_y \\
0 & 1 & -i Q m_x \\
-i Q m_y & i Q m_x & 1 
B_1 m_x^2 & B_2 m_x m_y & 0 \\
B_2 m_x m_y & B_1 m_y^2 & 0\\
0 & 0 & B_1 m_z^2

where \epsilon is the material dielectric constant, Q the Voigt parameter, B_1 and B_2 two cubic constants describing magneto-optical effect depending of m_i^2. m_i is the reduce m_i = M_i/M_s. Calculation is made in the spherical approximation with B_1 = B_2 . At the present moment, there is no evidence that this approximation is not valid, as the observation of Voigt effect is rare because extremely small with respect to the Kerr effect.

Eigenvalues and eigenvectors[edit]

To calculate the eigenvalues and eigenvectors, we consider the propagation equation derived from the Maxwell equations, with the convention \vec{n} = \vec{k} c / \omega .  :

{\displaystyle (2) \qquad n^2 \vec{E} - \vec{n}(\vec{n}\cdot\vec{E})=\epsilon \vec{E}}

When the magnetization is perpendicular to the propagation wavevector, on the contrary of the Kerr effect, \vec{E} may have all his three components equals to zero making calculations rather more complicated and making Fresnels equations no longer valid. A way to simplify the problem consist to use the electric field displacement vector \vec{D} = \epsilon \vec{E} . Since \vec{\nabla}\cdot \vec{D} = 0 and \vec{k}\parallel \vec{z} we have \vec{D} = 
D_x \\
D_y \\
\end{pmatrix} . The inconvenient is to deal with the inverse dielectric tensor which may be complicated to handle. Here calculation is made in the general case which is complicated mathematically to handle, however one can follow easily the demonstration by considering \phi=0.

Eigenvalues and eigenvectors are found by solving the propagation equation on \vec{D} which gives the following system of equation :

{\displaystyle (3)\quad \left\{\begin{matrix} (\epsilon_{xx}^{-1}-\frac{1}{n^2}) D_x + \epsilon_{xy}^{-1} D_y  = 0 \\ 
\epsilon_{yx}^{-1} D_x + (\epsilon_{yy}^{-1}-\frac{1}{n^2}) D_y  = 0  \end{matrix}\right.} where \epsilon_{ij}^{-1} represents the inverse ij element of the dielectric tensor \epsilon_r, and n^2 = \epsilon. After a straightforward calculation of the system's determinant, one has to make a developpement on 2nd order in Q and first order of B_1. This lead to the two eigenvalues corresponding the two refraction indices :

{\displaystyle n_{\parallel}^2 =\epsilon+B_1} {\displaystyle n_{\perp}^2 = \epsilon(1-Q^2)}

The corresponding eigenvectors for \vec{D} and for \vec{E} are :

{\displaystyle  (4) \qquad \vec{D}_{\parallel}=
\end{pmatrix} \qquad 
\end{pmatrix} \qquad

\vec{E}_{\parallel}= \epsilon^{-1} \vec{D}_{\parallel}=
\end{pmatrix} \qquad 
\vec{E}_{\perp}= \epsilon^{-1} \vec{D}_{\perp}=
\frac{-i Q}{(1-Q^{2})\epsilon}

Reflection geometry[edit]

Continuity relation[edit]

Knowing the eigenvectors and eigenvalues inside the material, one have to calculate \vec{E_r} = 
E_{rx} \\
E_{ry} \\
\end{pmatrix} the reflected electromagnetic vector usually detected in experiments. We use the continuity equations for \vec{E} and \vec{H} where \vec{H} is the induction defined from Maxwell's equations by \vec{\nabla}\times \vec{H} = \frac{1}{c} \frac{\partial \vec{D}}{\partial t}. Inside the medium, the electromagnetic field is decomposed on the derived eigenvectors \vec{E}_t = \alpha \vec{E}_{\parallel} + \beta \vec{E}_{\perp}. The system of equation to solve is :

{\displaystyle (5)\quad \left\{\begin{matrix} \alpha \Big(\frac{D_{y\parallel}}{n_{\parallel}}\Big)+\beta \Big(\frac{D_{y\perp}}{n_{\perp}}\Big) + E_{ry} = E_{0y}\\ \\
\alpha \Big(\frac{D_{x\parallel}}{n_{\parallel}}\Big)+\beta \Big(\frac{D_{x\perp}}{n_{\perp}}\Big) + E_{rx} = E_{0x}\\ \\
\alpha E_{x\parallel}+\beta E_{x\perp}-E_{rx} = E_{0x} \\ \\
\alpha E_{y\parallel}+\beta E_{y\perp}-E_{ry} = E_{0y}

The solution of this system of equation are :

{\displaystyle (6) \quad E_{rx}= E_0 \frac{(1-n_{\perp}n_{\parallel}) \cos(\beta) + (n_{\perp}-n_{\parallel}) \cos(\beta-2\phi)}{(1+n_{\parallel})(1+n_{\perp})}}{\displaystyle (7) \quad E_{ry}=E_0 \frac{(1-n_{\perp}n_{\parallel}) \sin(\beta) - (n_{\perp}-n_{\parallel}) \sin(\beta-2\phi)}{(1+n_{\parallel})(1+n_{\perp})}}

Calculation of rotation angle[edit]

The rotation angle \delta \beta and the ellipticity angle \psi are defined from the ratio \chi = E_{ry}/E_{rx} with the two following formula :

{\displaystyle (8) \quad \tan 2 \delta \beta=\frac{2 Re(\chi)}{1-|\chi| ^2} \qquad (9) \quad \sin(2 \psi_K) = \frac{2 \text{Im}(\chi)}{1-|\chi |^2}}

where Re(\chi) and Im(\chi) represent the real and imaginary part of \chi. Using the two previously calculated components, one obtain :

{\displaystyle (10) \qquad \chi =\frac{(B_1+n_0^2 Q^{2})}{2 n_0(n_0^2-1)}\frac{\sin[2(\phi-\beta)]}{\cos(\beta)^2}+\tan(\beta)}This gives for the Voigt rotation :

{\displaystyle (11) \qquad \delta \beta = Re\Big[\frac{B_1+n_0^2 Q^{2}}{2 n_0 (n_0^2-1)}\Big] \sin[2(\phi-\beta)]}Which can also be rewriten in the case of B_1 , n_0 and Q real :

{\displaystyle (12) \quad \delta \beta = \frac{2 \Delta n}{n_0^2-1}\sin[2(\phi-\beta)]}where \Delta n = \frac{{n_{\parallel}-n_{\perp}}}{2} is the difference of refraction indices. Consequently one obtain something proportionnal to \Delta n and which depend on the incident linear polarisation. Let us notice that for proper \phi-\beta no Voigt rotation can be observed. We emphasize with the fact that \Delta n is proportionnal to the square of the magnetization since B_1 \propto M_s^2 and Q \propto M_s.

Transmission geometry[edit]

The calculation of the rotation of the Voigt effect in transmission is in principle equivalent to the one of the Faraday effect. In practice, this configuration is not used in general for ferromagnetic samples since the absorption length is weak in this kind of material. However, the use of transmission geometry is more common for paramagnetic liquid or cristal where the light can travel easily inside the material.

The calculation for a paramagnetic material is exactly the same with respect to a ferromagnetic one, except that the magnetization is replace by a field \mu_0 \vec{H}= \mu_0 H_0 \begin{pmatrix}
\cos \phi \\
\sin \phi
\end{pmatrix} (H_0 in A/m or G ). For convinience, the field will be added at the end of calculation in the magneto-optical parameters.

Let's consider the transmitted electromagnetic waves \vec{E}_t propagating in a medium of length L. From equation (5) , one obtain for \alpha and \beta :

{\displaystyle \alpha = \frac{2 E_0 n_{\parallel} \cos (\theta-\phi)}{1+n_{\parallel}}}{\displaystyle \beta = \frac{2 E_0 n_{\perp}^2 \sin(\theta-\phi)}{n_{\perp}+1}}At the position z=L, the expression of \vec{E}_t is :

{\displaystyle (13)\quad \vec{E}_{t}= e^{-i \omega [t+\frac{(n_{\parallel}+n_{\perp}) L}{2 c}]} \Big[\alpha \vec{E}_{\parallel} e^{i \frac{\omega \Delta n L}{c}}+ \beta \vec{E}_{\perp} e^{-i \frac{\omega \Delta n L}{c}}\Big]}where \vec{E}_{\parallel} and \vec{E}_{\perp}are the eigenvectors previously calculated, and \Delta n = \frac{n_{\parallel}-n_{\perp}}{2} is the difference for the two refraction indices. The rotation is then calculated from the ratio \chi = \frac{E_{t_y}}{E_{t_{x}}}, with devellopement in first order in B_1 and second order in Q . This gives :

{\displaystyle (14) \quad \chi = \frac{c-i~\omega L(1+n_0)(B_1+n_0 Q^2) \sin[2(\beta-\phi)]}{4 c n_0 (1+n_0) \cos^2(\beta)} = \frac{c-i~\omega  L(1+n_0)\Delta n \sin[2(\beta-\phi)]}{ c~(1+n_0) \cos^2(\beta)}}

Again we obtain something proportional to \Delta n and L, the light propagation length. Let us notice that \Delta n is proportional to (\mu_0 H_0)^2 in the same way with respect to the geometry in reflexion for the magnetization. In order to extract the Voigt rotation, we consider n_0= \eta + i~\kappa , Q = Q_r + i~Q_i and B_1 real. Then we have to calculate the real part of (14). The resulting expression is then inserted it in (8). In the approximation of no absorption, one obtain for the Voigt rotation in transmission geometry :

{\displaystyle (15) \quad \delta \beta = (\mu_0 H)^2 \frac{B_1 + n_0^2 \Big[\frac{2L\omega}{c}(1+n_0) Q_i Q_r + Q_r^2-Q_i^2\Big]}{n_0 (1+n_0)}}

Illustration of Voigt effect in GaMnAs[edit]

a) Experimental hysteresis cycle on a planar (Ga,Mn)As sample b) Voigt hysteresis cycle obtained by extracting the symetric part of (a). c) Longitudinal Kerr obtained by extracting the asymetric part of (a)
a) Switching mechanism of an in-plane (Ga,Mn)As sample for a magnetic field applied along the [1-10] axe at 12 K. b) Voigt signal simulated from the mechanism showed in a)

As an illustration of the application of Voigt effect, we give an example in the magnetic semiconductor (Ga,Mn)As were a giant Voigt effect was observed.[4] At low temperature (without entering in detail, in general for T<\frac{T_c}{2}) for a material with an in-plane magnetization, (Ga,Mn)As exhibit a biaxial anisotropy with the magnetization aligned along (or close to) <100> directions.

A typical hysteresis cycle containing the Voigt effect is shown in the figure (). This cycle was obtained by sending a linearly polarized light along the [110] direction with an incident angle of approximately 3° (more detailed can be found in , and measuring the rotation due to magneto-optical effects of the reflected light beam. As one can see, on the contrary of common longitudinal/polar Kerr effect, the hysteresis cycle is even with respect to the magnetization which is a signature of the Voigt effect. Nevertheless this cycle was obtained with a light incidence very close to normal, it exhibits also a small odd part and a correct treatment has to be carried out in order to extract the symetric part of the hysteris corresponding to the Voigt effect, and the asymetric corresponding to the longitudinal Kerr effect.

In the case of the hysteresis presented here, the field was applied along the [1-10] direction. The switching mechanism is as follow :

  1. We start with a high negative field and the magnetization is close to the [-1-10] direction at position 1.
  2. The magnetic field is decreasing leading to a coherent magnetization rotation from 1 to 2
  3. At positive field, the magnetization switch brutally from 2 to 3 by nucleation and propagation of magnetic domains giving a first coercive field named here  H_1
  4. The magnetization stay close to the state 3 while rotating coherently to the state 4, closer from the applied field direction.
  5. Again the magnetization switches abruptly from 4 to 5 by nucleation and propagation of magnetic domains. This switching is due to the fact that the final equilibrium position is closer from the state 5 with respect to the state 4 (and so his magnetic energy is lower). This gives another coercive field named  H_2
  6. Finaly the magnetization rotates coherently from the state 5 to the state 6.

The simulation of this scenario is given in the figure b, with  Re\Big[\frac{B_1+n_0^2 Q^{2}}{2 n_0 (n_0^2-1)}\Big] P_{Voigt} = 0.5 mrad . As one can see, the simulated hysteresis is qualitatively the same with respect to the experimental one. Nottice that the amplitude at  H_1 or  H_2 are approximately twice of  P_{Voigt}

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zvezdin, Anatoly Konstantinovich (1997), Taylor & Francis Group, ed., Modern magneto-optics and magneto-optical materials : Studies in Condensed Matter, ISBN 978-0-7503-03620 .
  2. ^ Weisstein, Eric. "Voigt Effect". Eric Weisstein's World of Physics. 
  3. ^ Hubert, Alex (1998), Springer, ed., Magnetic domains, ISBN 978-3-540-85054-0 .
  4. ^ Kimel (2005). "Observation of Giant Magnetic Linear Dichroism in (Ga,Mn)As". Physical Review Letters 94 (22): 227203. .

Further reading[edit]