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Photon correlation spectroscopy with heterodyne mixing based on soft x-ray magnetic circular dichroism

Klose, Christopher; Büttner, Felix; Hu, Wen; Mazzoli, Claudio; Beach, Geoffrey S. D.; Eisebitt, Stefan; Pfau, Bastian

FG Röntgenoptik und Nanometer-Optik

Many magnetic equilibrium states and phase transitions are characterized by fluctuations. Such magnetic fluctuation can, in principle, be detected with scattering-based x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS). However, in the established approach of XPCS, the magnetic scattering signal is quadratic in the magnetic scattering cross section, which results not only in often prohibitively small signals but also in a fundamental inability to detect negative correlations (anticorrelations). Here, we propose to exploit the possibility of heterodyne mixing of the magnetic signal with static charge scattering to reconstruct the first-order (linear) magnetic correlation function. We show that the first-order magnetic scattering signal reconstructed from heterodyne scattering now directly represents the underlying magnetization texture. Moreover, we suggest a practical implementation based on an absorption mask rigidly connected to the sample, which not only produces a static charge scattering signal but also eliminates the problem of drift-induced artificial decay of the correlation functions. Our method thereby significantly broadens the range of scientific questions accessible by magnetic x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy.