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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 963, 2022 Feb 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35181649

RESUMO

In low-dimensional systems with strong electronic correlations, the application of an ultrashort laser pulse often yields novel phases that are otherwise inaccessible. The central challenge in understanding such phenomena is to determine how dimensionality and many-body correlations together govern the pathway of a non-adiabatic transition. To this end, we examine a layered compound, 1T-TiSe2, whose three-dimensional charge-density-wave (3D CDW) state also features exciton condensation due to strong electron-hole interactions. We find that photoexcitation suppresses the equilibrium 3D CDW while creating a nonequilibrium 2D CDW. Remarkably, the dimension reduction does not occur unless bound electron-hole pairs are broken. This relation suggests that excitonic correlations maintain the out-of-plane CDW coherence, settling a long-standing debate over their role in the CDW transition. Our findings demonstrate how optical manipulation of electronic interaction enables one to control the dimensionality of a broken-symmetry order, paving the way for realizing other emergent states in strongly correlated systems.

2.
Phys Rev Lett ; 127(22): 227401, 2021 Nov 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34889631

RESUMO

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.

3.
Science ; 371(6527): 341-342, 2021 01 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33479136
4.
Nature ; 578(7796): 545-549, 2020 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32103195

RESUMO

Chirality is ubiquitous in nature, and populations of opposite chiralities are surprisingly asymmetric at fundamental levels1,2. Examples range from parity violation in the subatomic weak force to homochirality in biomolecules. The ability to achieve chirality-selective synthesis (chiral induction) is of great importance in stereochemistry, molecular biology and pharmacology2. In condensed matter physics, a crystalline electronic system is geometrically chiral when it lacks mirror planes, space-inversion centres or rotoinversion axes1. Typically, geometrical chirality is predefined by the chiral lattice structure of a material, which is fixed on formation of the crystal. By contrast, in materials with gyrotropic order3-6, electrons spontaneously organize themselves to exhibit macroscopic chirality in an originally achiral lattice. Although such order-which has been proposed as the quantum analogue of cholesteric liquid crystals-has attracted considerable interest3-15, no clear observation or manipulation of gyrotropic order has been achieved so far. Here we report the realization of optical chiral induction and the observation of a gyrotropically ordered phase in the transition-metal dichalcogenide semimetal 1T-TiSe2. We show that shining mid-infrared circularly polarized light on 1T-TiSe2 while cooling it below the critical temperature leads to the preferential formation of one chiral domain. The chirality of this state is confirmed by the measurement of an out-of-plane circular photogalvanic current, the direction of which depends on the optical induction. Although the role of domain walls requires further investigation with local probes, the methodology demonstrated here can be applied to realize and control chiral electronic phases in other quantum materials4,16.

5.
Phys Rev Lett ; 123(9): 097601, 2019 Aug 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31524450

RESUMO

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.

6.
Sci Adv ; 4(10): eaau5501, 2018 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30345365

RESUMO

Domain walls (DWs) are singularities in an ordered medium that often host exotic phenomena such as charge ordering, insulator-metal transition, or superconductivity. The ability to locally write and erase DWs is highly desirable, as it allows one to design material functionality by patterning DWs in specific configurations. We demonstrate such capability at room temperature in a charge density wave (CDW), a macroscopic condensate of electrons and phonons, in ultrathin 1T-TaS2. A single femtosecond light pulse is shown to locally inject or remove mirror DWs in the CDW condensate, with probabilities tunable by pulse energy and temperature. Using time-resolved electron diffraction, we are able to simultaneously track anti-synchronized CDW amplitude oscillations from both the lattice and the condensate, where photoinjected DWs lead to a red-shifted frequency. Our demonstration of reversible DW manipulation may pave new ways for engineering correlated material systems with light.

7.
Science ; 358(6368): 1314-1317, 2017 12 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29217574

RESUMO

Bose condensation has shaped our understanding of macroscopic quantum phenomena, having been realized in superconductors, atomic gases, and liquid helium. Excitons are bosons that have been predicted to condense into either a superfluid or an insulating electronic crystal. Using the recently developed technique of momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy (M-EELS), we studied electronic collective modes in the transition metal dichalcogenide semimetal 1T-TiSe2 Near the phase-transition temperature (190 kelvin), the energy of the electronic mode fell to zero at nonzero momentum, indicating dynamical slowing of plasma fluctuations and crystallization of the valence electrons into an exciton condensate. Our study provides compelling evidence for exciton condensation in a three-dimensional solid and establishes M-EELS as a versatile technique sensitive to valence band excitations in quantum materials.

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