A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Germany have made a significant discovery in manipulating quantum materials using laser drives. By adjusting the light source to 10 THz, they were able to create a long-lived superconducting-like state in a fullerene-based material (K3C60) using laser light, while reducing the pulse intensity by a factor of 100.
The researchers directly observed this light-induced state at room temperature for 100 picoseconds and predicted that it has a lifetime of at least 0.5 nanoseconds. This discovery has implications for understanding the microscopic mechanism of photo-induced superconductivity and could provide insight into amplifying electronic properties in materials.
Andrea Cavalleri, founding director of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter and physics professor at both the University of Hamburg and Oxford, explained why researchers are interested in nonlinear responses in materials and how these can be used to enhance electronic properties such as superconductivity. The resonance frequency identified in this study may help theorists understand which excitations are crucial for this effect in K3C60.
Edward Rowe, a Ph.D. student working with Cavalleri, also noted that increasing the repetition rate of the light source at 10 THz may help sustain the metastable state longer, potentially allowing for continuous sustenance of superconducting-like states. This research has significant potential to advance our understanding of quantum materials and their properties.
In summary, a group of researchers from Germany made an important discovery on manipulating quantum materials using laser drives by tuning the light source to 10 THz, creating a long-lived superconducting-like state in K3C60 while reducing pulse intensity by a factor of 100. This research has implications for understanding photo-induced superconductivity and could provide insight into amplifying electronic properties in materials.