A femtosecond laser pulse is able to switch the magnetic state of a 3d-4f ferrimagnetic material on a pico-second timescale. Devices based on this all-optical switching (AOS) mechanism are competitive candidates for ultrafast memory applications. However, a large portion of the light energy is lost by reflection from the metal thin film as well as transmission to the substrate. In this paper, we explore the use of dielectric coatings to increase the light absorption by the magnetic metal layer based on the principle of constructive interference. We experimentally show that the switching energy oscillates with the dielectric layer thickness following the light interference profile as obtained from theoretical calculations. Furthermore, the switching threshold fluence can be reduced by at least 80% to 0.6 mJ/cm2 using two dielectric SiO2 layers sandwiching the metal stack, which scales to 15 fJ of incident energy for a cell size of 502 nm2.

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