A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Germany have made a groundbreaking discovery in the manipulation of quantum materials using laser drives. By tuning the light source to 10 THz, the researchers 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.
Andrea Cavalleri, founding director of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, as well as a physics professor at the University of Hamburg and the University of Oxford, explained that this discovery has implications for understanding the underlying microscopic mechanism of photo-induced superconductivity. The resonance frequency identified in this study can help researchers understand which excitations are important for the effect in K3C60.
Edward Rowe, a Ph.D. student working with Cavalleri, also noted that a light source with a higher repetition rate at the 10 THz frequency may help sustain the metastable state longer, potentially leading to continuous sustenance of superconducting-like states. This research has immense potential to advance our understanding of quantum materials and their properties.
The team was able to directly observe this light-induced state at room temperature for 100 picoseconds and predict that it has a lifetime of at least 0.5 nanoseconds. This discovery could provide insight into amplifying electronic properties in materials and lead to new applications in fields such as electronics and energy storage.
Overall, this research highlights the importance of nonlinear responses in materials science and opens up exciting possibilities for future research on quantum materials and their applications.