Publications associated with Quantum Materials

Breaking Symmetry with Light: Ultra-Fast Ferroelectricity and Magnetism from Three-Phonon Coupling

Physical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics American Physical Society (2018)

PG Radaelli

A theory describing how ferroic properties can emerge transiently in the ultra-fast regime by breaking symmetry with light through three-phonon coupling is presented. Particular emphasis is placed on the special case when two exactly degenerate mid-infra-red or THz phonons are resonantly pumped, since this situation can give rise to an exactly rectified ferroic response with damping envelopes of ~ 1 ps or less. Light-induced ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism are discussed in this context, and a number of candidate materials that could display these phenomena are proposed. The same analysis is also applied to the interpretation of previous femto-magnetism experiments, performed in different frequency ranges (visible and near-infrared), but sharing similar symmetry characteristics.

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