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Title: Quantum Hooke's Law to classify pulse laser induced ultrafast melting

Ultrafast crystal-to-liquid phase transition induced by femtosecond pulse laser excitation is an interesting material's behavior manifesting the complexity of light-matter interaction. There exist two types of such phase transitions: one occurs at a time scale shorter than a picosecond via a nonthermal process mediated by electron-hole plasma formation; the other at a longer time scale via a thermal melting process mediated by electron-phonon interaction. However, it remains unclear what material would undergo which process and why? Here, by exploiting the property of quantum electronic stress (QES) governed by quantum Hooke's law, we classify the transitions by two distinct classes of materials: the faster nonthermal process can only occur in materials like ice having an anomalous phase diagram characterized with dTm/dP < 0, where Tm is the melting temperature and P is pressure, above a high threshold laser fluence; while the slower thermal process may occur in all materials. Especially, the nonthermal transition is shown to be induced by the QES, acting like a negative internal pressure, which drives the crystal into a “super pressing” state to spontaneously transform into a higher-density liquid phase. Our findings significantly advance fundamental understanding of ultrafast crystal-to-liquid phase transitions, enabling quantitative a priori predictions.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Xi'an Jiaotong Univ., Xi'an (China); Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
  2. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-04ER46148; SC0001061
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY Electronic properties and materials; phase transitions and critical phenomena