Physics Seminar - Switching Quantum Materials Properties With Light

Event Date: 

Friday, November 14, 2014 - 2:00pm

Event Location: 

  • KITP Main Seminar Room (Kohn Hall)

Event Contact: 


Alessandra Lanzara, UC Berkeley


The recent advancements in laser technology have dramatically expanded the applications of lasers to table top experiments in condensed matter physics. Femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy techniques are emerging tools in the study of quantum materials, offering new paths to disentangle coexisting phases with similar energy scale, selectively tune a specific phase across a quantum critical point and create hidden states that do not exist in equilibrium, to name a few.

In this talk I will present some of our recent work where ultrafast light is used to manipulate electron charges and lattice to reveal underlying properties in quantum materials, to drive metal insulator transition, to destroy superconductivity and to control spin texture in topological insulators. I will also discuss the next steps in the field and how coherent pumping of specific excitation will provide an unprecedented opportunity for disentangling interactions in materials, leading to emergence of order and correlations.