"Ultrafast Optical Control of Quantum Materials" by Edbert Sie (Stanford University)

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

Ultrafast Optical Control of Quantum Materials

Edbert Sie
Stanford University

A primary goal of modern condensed matter physics is to realize and control novel phases of quantum matter. Although many approaches using material synthesis and static fields have been used at thermal equilibrium, there exists a vast unexplored landscape and associated symmetries at non-equilibrium. Here we can use light to introduce new space-time symmetries in materials and realize new quantum phenomena that were previously inaccessible. In this talk, I will discuss how terahertz light pulses can be used to switch the inversion lattice symmetry and induce a topological phase transition in the Weyl semimetal WTe2. The optically-induced change of lattice structure is crystallographically probed using time-resolved electron diffraction at the atomic, sub-picometer length scale. This approach offers non-equilibrium pathways to control quantum properties of matter in the ultrafast timescales.

4-330 PAB