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Phys Rev Lett ; 127(22): 227401, 2021 Nov 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34889631


Engineering novel states of matter with light is at the forefront of materials research. An intensely studied direction is to realize broken-symmetry phases that are "hidden" under equilibrium conditions but can be unleashed by an ultrashort laser pulse. Despite a plethora of experimental discoveries, the nature of these orders and how they transiently appear remain unclear. To this end, we investigate a nonequilibrium charge density wave (CDW) in rare-earth tritellurides, which is suppressed in equilibrium but emerges after photoexcitation. Using a pump-pump-probe protocol implemented in ultrafast electron diffraction, we demonstrate that the light-induced CDW consists solely of order parameter fluctuations, which bear striking similarities to critical fluctuations in equilibrium despite differences in the length scale. By calculating the dynamics of CDW fluctuations in a nonperturbative model, we further show that the strength of the light-induced order is governed by the amplitude of equilibrium fluctuations. These findings highlight photoinduced fluctuations as an important ingredient for the emergence of transient orders out of equilibrium. Our results further suggest that materials with strong fluctuations in equilibrium are promising platforms to host hidden orders after laser excitation.

Nature ; 595(7865): 53-57, 2021 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34194018


When the Coulomb repulsion between electrons dominates over their kinetic energy, electrons in two-dimensional systems are predicted to spontaneously break continuous-translation symmetry and form a quantum crystal1. Efforts to observe2-12 this elusive state of matter, termed a Wigner crystal, in two-dimensional extended systems have primarily focused on conductivity measurements on electrons confined to a single Landau level at high magnetic fields. Here we use optical spectroscopy to demonstrate that electrons in a monolayer semiconductor with density lower than 3 × 1011 per centimetre squared form a Wigner crystal. The combination of a high electron effective mass and reduced dielectric screening enables us to observe electronic charge order even in the absence of a moiré potential or an external magnetic field. The interactions between a resonantly injected exciton and electrons arranged in a periodic lattice modify the exciton bandstructure so that an umklapp resonance arises in the optical reflection spectrum, heralding the presence of charge order13. Our findings demonstrate that charge-tunable transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers14 enable the investigation of previously uncharted territory for many-body physics where interaction energy dominates over kinetic energy.

Phys Rev Lett ; 123(9): 097601, 2019 Aug 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31524450


Complex systems, which consist of a large number of interacting constituents, often exhibit universal behavior near a phase transition. A slowdown of certain dynamical observables is one such recurring feature found in a vast array of contexts. This phenomenon, known as critical slowing-down, is well studied mostly in thermodynamic phase transitions. However, it is less understood in highly nonequilibrium settings, where the time it takes to traverse the phase boundary becomes comparable to the timescale of dynamical fluctuations. Using transient optical spectroscopy and femtosecond electron diffraction, we studied a photoinduced transition of a model charge-density-wave (CDW) compound LaTe_{3}. We observed that it takes the longest time to suppress the order parameter at the threshold photoexcitation density, where the CDW transiently vanishes. This finding can be captured by generalizing the time-dependent Landau theory to a system far from equilibrium. The experimental observation and theoretical understanding of dynamical slowing-down may offer insight into other general principles behind nonequilibrium phase transitions in many-body systems.

Sci Rep ; 9(1): 1301, 2019 Feb 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30718582


Proximity induced quantum coherence of electrons in multi-terminal voltage-driven hybrid normal-superconducting nanostructures may result in a non-trivial interplay between topology-dependent Josephson and Aharonov-Bohm effects. We elucidate a trade-off between stimulation of the voltage-dependent Josephson current due to non-equilibrium effects and quantum dephasing of quasiparticles causing reduction of both Josephson and Aharonov-Bohm currents. We also predict phase-shifted quantum coherent oscillations of the induced electrostatic potential as a function of the externally applied magnetic flux. Our results may be employed for engineering superconducting nanocircuits with controlled quantum properties.