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Title: Evidence for topological defects in a photoinduced phase transition

Abstract

Upon excitation with an intense laser pulse, a symmetry-broken ground state can undergo a non-equilibrium phase transition through pathways different from those in thermal equilibrium. The mechanism underlying these photoinduced phase transitions has long been researched in the study of condensed matter systems, but many details in this ultrafast, non-adiabatic regime still remain to be clarified. To this end, we investigate the light-induced melting of a unidirectional charge density wave (CDW) in LaTe 3. Using a suite of time-resolved probes, we independently track the amplitude and phase dynamics of the CDW. We find that a fast (approximately 1 picosecond) recovery of the CDW amplitude is followed by a slower re-establishment of phase coherence. This longer timescale is dictated by the presence of topological defects: long-range order is inhibited and is only restored when the defects annihilate. Finally, our results provide a framework for understanding other photoinduced phase transitions by identifying the generation of defects as a governing mechanism.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [6];  [7];  [8];  [6]; ORCiD logo [1];  [9]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany)
  3. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Univ. of Louisville, Louisville, KY (United States)
  4. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
  5. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  6. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  7. Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow (Russia)
  8. Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow (Russia); Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russia)
  9. Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow (Russia); Univ. of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Excitonics (CE); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1493355
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY

Citation Formats

Zong, Alfred, Kogar, Anshul, Bie, Ya -Qing, Rohwer, Timm, Lee, Changmin, Baldini, Edoardo, Ergeçen, Emre, Yilmaz, Mehmet B., Freelon, Byron, Sie, Edbert J., Zhou, Hengyun, Straquadine, Joshua, Walmsley, Philip, Dolgirev, Pavel E., Rozhkov, Alexander V., Fisher, Ian R., Jarillo-Herrero, Pablo, Fine, Boris V., and Gedik, Nuh. Evidence for topological defects in a photoinduced phase transition. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0311-9.
Zong, Alfred, Kogar, Anshul, Bie, Ya -Qing, Rohwer, Timm, Lee, Changmin, Baldini, Edoardo, Ergeçen, Emre, Yilmaz, Mehmet B., Freelon, Byron, Sie, Edbert J., Zhou, Hengyun, Straquadine, Joshua, Walmsley, Philip, Dolgirev, Pavel E., Rozhkov, Alexander V., Fisher, Ian R., Jarillo-Herrero, Pablo, Fine, Boris V., & Gedik, Nuh. Evidence for topological defects in a photoinduced phase transition. United States. doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0311-9.
Zong, Alfred, Kogar, Anshul, Bie, Ya -Qing, Rohwer, Timm, Lee, Changmin, Baldini, Edoardo, Ergeçen, Emre, Yilmaz, Mehmet B., Freelon, Byron, Sie, Edbert J., Zhou, Hengyun, Straquadine, Joshua, Walmsley, Philip, Dolgirev, Pavel E., Rozhkov, Alexander V., Fisher, Ian R., Jarillo-Herrero, Pablo, Fine, Boris V., and Gedik, Nuh. Mon . "Evidence for topological defects in a photoinduced phase transition". United States. doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0311-9. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1493355.
@article{osti_1493355,
title = {Evidence for topological defects in a photoinduced phase transition},
author = {Zong, Alfred and Kogar, Anshul and Bie, Ya -Qing and Rohwer, Timm and Lee, Changmin and Baldini, Edoardo and Ergeçen, Emre and Yilmaz, Mehmet B. and Freelon, Byron and Sie, Edbert J. and Zhou, Hengyun and Straquadine, Joshua and Walmsley, Philip and Dolgirev, Pavel E. and Rozhkov, Alexander V. and Fisher, Ian R. and Jarillo-Herrero, Pablo and Fine, Boris V. and Gedik, Nuh},
abstractNote = {Upon excitation with an intense laser pulse, a symmetry-broken ground state can undergo a non-equilibrium phase transition through pathways different from those in thermal equilibrium. The mechanism underlying these photoinduced phase transitions has long been researched in the study of condensed matter systems, but many details in this ultrafast, non-adiabatic regime still remain to be clarified. To this end, we investigate the light-induced melting of a unidirectional charge density wave (CDW) in LaTe3. Using a suite of time-resolved probes, we independently track the amplitude and phase dynamics of the CDW. We find that a fast (approximately 1 picosecond) recovery of the CDW amplitude is followed by a slower re-establishment of phase coherence. This longer timescale is dictated by the presence of topological defects: long-range order is inhibited and is only restored when the defects annihilate. Finally, our results provide a framework for understanding other photoinduced phase transitions by identifying the generation of defects as a governing mechanism.},
doi = {10.1038/s41567-018-0311-9},
journal = {Nature Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 15,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Time evolution of electron diffraction after photoexcitation. a, Electron diffraction cut along (3 0 L). Superlattice peaks are indicated by arrows. The line cut is obtained by integrating the coloured strip along the H direction. A full diffraction pattern is shown in Supplementary Fig. 1b. b, Time evolutionmore » of integrated intensities, l(t), of the (4 0 0) Bragg peak and the (5 0 $δ$) superlattice peak after photoexcitation with an excitation density of 9.4 x1019 cm- 3. Intensities are normalized to values before the arrival of the light pulse. The inset shows snapshots of the superlattice peak at selected time delays, indicated by the triangles in the main panel. The transient broadening is isotropic along both Hand L directions, and normalized line profiles shown are along H, from which full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) is computed by fitting to a Lorentzian function (solid curves). c, The time evolution of the superlattice peak width, normalized to values before photoexcitation, showing substantial broadening through the CDW transition. Error bars represent one standard deviation in the Lorentzian fittings. Solid curves in b and c are fits to a phenomenological relaxation model (Supplementary Notes 3 and 7), while dashed lines in the dark orange curve are extrapolated to regions where the peak vanishes. d, Time evolution of the integrated intensity of the (5 0 $δ$) superlattice peak (circles) overlaid onto the CDW correlation length (squares), showing good agreement. Excitation densities are the same as in c. Missing orange squares correspond to the time range where the CDW peaks are indistinguishable from the background and the width cannot be reliably extracted. CDW correlation length is measured in terms of crystallographic unit cells.« less

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

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