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Title: Ultrafast energy- and momentum-resolved dynamics of magnetic correlations in the photo-doped Mott insulator Sr2IrO4

Measuring how the magnetic correlations evolve in doped Mott insulators has greatly improved our understanding of the pseudogap, non-Fermi liquids and high-temperature superconductivity1, 2, 3, 4. Recently, photo-excitation has been used to induce similarly exotic states transiently5, 6, 7. However, the lack of available probes of magnetic correlations in the time domain hinders our understanding of these photo-induced states and how they could be controlled. Here, we implement magnetic resonant inelastic X-ray scattering at a free-electron laser to directly determine the magnetic dynamics after photo-doping the Mott insulator Sr2IrO4. We find that the non-equilibrium state, 2 ps after the excitation, exhibits strongly suppressed long-range magnetic order, but hosts photo-carriers that induce strong, non-thermal magnetic correlations. These two-dimensional (2D) in-plane Néel correlations recover within a few picoseconds, whereas the three-dimensional (3D) long-range magnetic order restores on a fluence-dependent timescale of a few hundred picoseconds. In conclusion, the marked difference in these two timescales implies that the dimensionality of magnetic correlations is vital for our understanding of ultrafast magnetic dynamics.
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  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  2. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter, Beijing (China)
  3. The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Castelldefels (Barcelona) (Spain)
  4. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  5. Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg (Germany)
  6. Univ. College London, London (United Kingdom)
  7. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  8. Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)
  9. RIKEN SPring-8 Center, Hyogo (Japan)
  10. Japan Synchrotron Radiation Institute, Hyogo (Japan)
  11. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  12. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  13. Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart (Germany)
  14. ETH Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland)
  15. Univ. of Groningen, Groningen (The Netherlands)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122; R&D Project: PO011; KC0201060
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: