The 2022 Magneto-Optics Roadmap

Magneto-optical (MO) effects, viz. magnetically induced changes in light intensity or polarization upon reflection from or transmission through a magnetic sample, were discovered over a century and a half ago. Initially they played a crucially relevant role in unveiling the fundamentals of electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. A more broad-based relevance and wide-spread use of MO methods, however, remained quite limited until the 1960s due to a lack of suitable, reliable and easy-to-operate light sources. The advent of Laser technology and the availability of other novel light sources led to an enormous expansion of MO measurement techniques and applications that continues to this day (see section 1). The here-assembled roadmap article is intended to provide a meaningful survey over many of the most relevant recent developments, advances, and emerging research directions in a rather condensed form, so that readers can easily access a significant overview about this very dynamic research field. While light source technology and other experimental developments were crucial in the establishment of today's magneto-optics, progress also relies on an ever-increasing theoretical understanding of MO effects from a quantum mechanical perspective (see section 2), as well as using electromagnetic theory and modelling approaches (see section 3) to enable quantitatively reliable predictions for ever more complex materials, metamaterials, and device geometries. The latest advances in established MO methodologies and especially the utilization of the MO Kerr effect (MOKE) are presented in sections 4 (MOKE spectroscopy), 5 (higher order MOKE effects), 6 (MOKE microscopy), 8 (high sensitivity MOKE), 9 (generalized MO ellipsometry), and 20 (Cotton–Mouton effect in two-dimensional materials).


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