We report on judiciously designed stratified periodic structures of magnetic dielectric materials with a localized defect layer, which are able to concurrently confine light and spin waves in the same ultra-small defect region for a long time period, thus resulting in enhanced photon–magnon interaction and large dynamic optical frequency shift. Our results for a specific realization of such a one-dimensional, so-called photomagnonic, crystal magnetized at saturation perpendicular to the interfaces, obtained by means of rigorous calculations using scattering-matrix techniques, show that the inherently weak coupling between visible/near-infrared light and GHz-frequency spin waves can be greatly increased leading to strong modulation of the optical field through multi-magnon exchange mechanisms. Such novel multifunctional composite materials offer a promising platform for tailoring light–spin-wave coupling in view of fast and energy-efficient spin-optical information processing applications.
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Faculty of Physics Dept. of Solid State Physics GR-157 84, Zografou Tel.: (+30) 210-7276762 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org