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Title: Semimetallization of dielectrics in strong optical fields

At the heart of ever growing demands for faster signal processing is ultrafast charge transport and control by electromagnetic fields in semiconductors. Intense optical fields have opened fascinating avenues for new phenomena and applications in solids. Because the period of optical fields is on the order of a femtosecond, the current switching and its control by an optical field may pave a way to petahertz optoelectronic devices. Lately, a reversible semimetallization in fused silica on a femtosecond time scale by using a few-cycle strong field (~1 V/Å) is manifested. The strong Wannier-Stark localization and Zener-type tunneling were expected to drive this ultrafast semimetallization. Wider spread of this technology demands better understanding of whether the strong field behavior is universally similar for different dielectrics. Here we employ a carrier-envelope-phase stabilized, few-cycle strong optical field to drive the semimetallization in sapphire, calcium fluoride and quartz and to compare this phenomenon and show its remarkable similarity between them. The similarity in response of these materials, despite the distinguishable differences in their physical properties, suggests the universality of the physical picture explained by the localization of Wannier-Stark states. Lastly, our results may blaze a trail to PHz-rate optoelectronics.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Pohang Univ. of Science and Technology, Pohang (Republic of Korea); Max Planck POSTECH/Korea Res. Init., Pohang (Republic of Korea)
  2. Max-Planck-Institut fur Quantenoptik, Garching (Germany); TOPTICA Photonics AG, Grafelfing (Germany)
  3. Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA (United States)
  4. Chonbuk National Univ., Jeonju (Republic of Korea); Korea Univ. Sejong Campus, Sejong City (Korea)
  5. Chonbuk National Univ., Jeonju (Republic of Korea)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1253366
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-01ER15213
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Georgia State University Research Foundations, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY condensed-matter physics; optical physics