Researchers record a quantum state hidden in a two-dimensional crystal in real-time mode

Researchers record a quantum state hidden in a two-dimensional crystal in real-time mode

For the first time, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Texas in Austin report that they have been able to perpetuate the light-induced metastabilistic quantum phase using advanced spectroscopic techniques.

The super-rapid interaction between light and matter can cause many so-called "exotic" phenomena in quantum materials, such as light-induced superconductivity. Research into hidden photo-induced phases, i.e. thermally inaccessible unbalanced states, is still ongoing.

Researchers in a new study published in the magazine , report that some of these phases may last indefinitely under suitable environmental conditions, although many hidden phases induced by laser pulses are short-lived. ", they write. Indeed, mapping the super-rapid formation of a long-lived hidden phase remains a long-standing problem, as the baseline does not recover quickly.

", said Keith A. Nelson, co-author of the study and professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an uneven thermodynamics is an area of research that explores irreversible phenomena that are not in the thermodynamic balance; it is linked to transport processes and the speed of chemical reactions.

Modern Spectroscopic Method, which produces several hundred laser pulses

Therefore, researchers have developed an advanced laser method for obtaining images of these phenomena in quantum materials with a temporary resolution of 100 femtoseconds; the electronic crystal is made up of tantalum disulphide, formed by layers of tantalum and sulphur, which are not tightly attached to each other.

"," adds Zhujuang Zhang, co-author of research and postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Chemical Sciences of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

"", explains Edoardo Baldini, co-author of the study and associate professor of physics at UT-Austin."

In detail, American scientists have developed a new method of extracting several hundred individual laser pulses from a single laser probe pulse. These multiple pulses reach the sample at different times, and their changes after reflection/transmission of the sample have been measured.

This allowed for the re-establishment of a microscopic picture of the mechanisms by which the transformation takes place, and in the end the authors demonstrated that the merging of the charge density waves and the fluctuations of the reorganization create a hidden state.

They claim that their results shed light on the origin of this elusive state and pave the way for the discovery of other exotic phases of matter