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Ultrafast Quenching of the Exchange Interaction in a Mott Insulator  [PDF]
J. H. Mentink,M. Eckstein
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.057201
Abstract: We investigate how fast and how effective photocarrier excitation can modify the exchange interaction $J_\mathrm{ex}$ in the prototype Mott-Hubbard insulator. We demonstrate an ultrafast quenching of $J_\mathrm{ex}$ both by evaluating exchange integrals from a time-dependent response formalism and by explicitly simulating laser-induced spin precession in an antiferromagnet that is canted by an external magnetic field. In both cases, the electron dynamics is obtained from nonequilibrium dynamical mean-field theory. We find that the modified $J_\mathrm{ex}$ emerges already within a few electron hopping times after the pulse, with a reduction that is comparable to the effect of chemical doping.
Ultrafast supercontinuum spectroscopy of carrier multiplication and biexcitonic effects in excited states of PbS quantum dots  [PDF]
F. Gesuele,M. Y. Sfeir,W. -K. Koh,C. B. Murray,T. F. Heinz,C. W. Wong
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: We examine the multiple exciton population dynamics in PbS quantum dots by ultrafast spectrally-resolved supercontinuum transient absorption (SC-TA). We simultaneously probe the first three excitonic transitions over a broad spectral range. Transient spectra show the presence of first order bleach of absorption for the 1S_h-1S_e transition and second order bleach along with photoinduced absorption band for 1P_h-1P_e transition. We also report evidence of the one-photon forbidden 1S_{h,e}-1P_{h,e} transition. We examine signatures of carrier multiplication (multiexcitons for the single absorbed photon) from analysis of the first and second order bleaches, in the limit of low absorbed photon numbers (~ 10^-2), at pump energies from two to four times the semiconductor band gap. The multiexciton generation efficiency is discussed both in terms of a broadband global fit and the ratio between early- to long-time transient absorption signals.. Analysis of population dynamics shows that the bleach peak due to the biexciton population is red-shifted respect the single exciton one, indicating a positive binding energy.
Ultrafast Surface Plasmonic Switch in Non-Plasmonic Metals  [PDF]
E. Bévillon,J. P. Colombier,V. Recoules,H. Zhang,C. Li,R. Stoian
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: We demonstrate that ultrafast carrier excitation can drastically affect electronic structures and induce brief surface plasmonic response in non-plasmonic metals, potentially creating a plasmonic switch. Using first-principles molecular dynamics and Kubo-Greenwood formalism for laser-excited tungsten we show that carrier heating mobilizes d electrons into collective inter and intraband transitions leading to a sign flip in the imaginary optical conductivity, activating plasmonic properties for the initial non-plasmonic phase. The drive for the optical evolution can be visualized as an increasingly damped quasi-resonance at visible frequencies for pumping carriers across a chemical potential located in a d-band pseudo-gap with energy-dependent degree of occupation. The subsequent evolution of optical indices for the excited material is confirmed by time-resolved ultrafast ellipsometry. The large optical tunability extends the existence spectral domain of surface plasmons in ranges typically claimed in laser self-organized nanostructuring. Non-equilibrium heating is thus a strong factor for engineering optical control of evanescent excitation waves, particularly important in laser nanostructuring strategies.
Ultrafast polarization optical switch constructed from one-dimensional photonic crystal and its performance analysis
Tao Wang,Qing Li,DingShan Gao
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2009, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-009-0403-0
Abstract: All-optical switch with the ultrafast optical switching rate is a key device in the next generation optical network. In this article, we propose a polarization switch with ps switching time, which is constructed from one-dimensional resonant photonic crystal (1D RPC). The model of switch operating at 1.5 μm is established based on the optical stark effect (OSE). We calculate the performance indices of the switch and the influences of errors of periods and refractive index on the performance characteristics.
Light-control of the ultrafast demagnetization pathway in an antiferromagnetic insulator  [PDF]
Vera G. Sala,Stefano Dal Conte,Timothy A. Miller,Daniele Viola,Elenora Luppi,Valérie Véniard,Giulio Cerullo,Simon Wall
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: Ultrafast demagnetization is a complex process involving strong coupling between electronic, spin, and structural degrees of freedom which is dependent on the type of magnetic order and band structure. Controlling these interactions is key for developing magnetic devices that can fully exploit femto-magnetism. Here we show that energy and polarization tunable femtosecond light pulses can be used to control the demagnetization pathway in the antiferromagnetic insulator Cr2O3. We visualize how the demagnetization dynamics depends on the pump photon energy using transient second harmonic spectroscopy. This enables us to monitor changes to the magnetic and crystalline symmetry, revealing the key role played by phonons in the demagnetization process. The phonon symmetry can be selected through the colour and polarization of the pump pulse, providing control over the demagnetization process, which could lead to faster and more efficient control of magnetic order.
Control and ultrafast dynamics of a two-fluid polariton switch  [PDF]
M. De Giorgi,D. Ballarini,E. Cancellieri,F. M. Marchetti,M. H. Szymanska,C. Tejedor,R. Cingolani,E. Giacobino,A. Bramati,G. Gigli,D. Sanvitto
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.266407
Abstract: We investigate the cross-interactions in a two-component polariton quantum fluid coherently driven by two independent pumping lasers tuned at different energies and momenta. We show that both the hysteresis cycles and the ON/OFF threshold of one polariton signal can be entirely controlled by a second polariton fluid. Furthermore, we study the ultrafast switching dynamics of a driven polariton state, demonstrating the ability to control the polariton population with an external laser pulse, in less than a few picoseconds.
All Optical Switch of Vacuum Rabi Oscillations: The Ultrafast Quantum Eraser  [PDF]
Alessandro Ridolfo,Rocco Vilardi,Omar Di Stefano,Stefano Portolan,Salvatore Savasta
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.013601
Abstract: We study the all-optical time-control of the strong coupling between a single cascade three-level quantum emitter and a microcavity. We find that only specific arrival-times of the control pulses succeed in switching-off the Rabi oscillations. Depending on the arrival times of control pulses, a variety of exotic non-adiabatic cavity quantum electrodynamics effects can be observed. We show that only control pulses with specific arrival times are able to suddenly switch-off and -on first-order coherence of cavity photons, without affecting their strong coupling population dynamics. Such behavior may be understood as a manifestation of quantum complementarity.
Inhomogeneity in the ultrafast insulator-to-metal transition dynamics in VO$_2$  [PDF]
Brian T. O'Callahan,Joanna M. Atkin,Andrew C. Jones,Jae Hyung Park,David Cobden,Markus B. Raschke
Physics , 2014,
Abstract: The insulator-to-metal transition (IMT) of the simple binary compound of vanadium dioxide VO$_2$ at $\sim 340$ K has been puzzling since its discovery more than five decades ago. A wide variety of photon and electron probes have been applied in search of a satisfactory microscopic mechanistic explanation. However, many of the conclusions drawn have implicitly assumed a {\em homogeneous} material response. Here, we reveal inherently {\em inhomogeneous} behavior in the study of the dynamics of individual VO$_2$ micro-crystals using a combination of femtosecond pump-probe microscopy with nano-IR imaging. The time scales of the photoinduced bandgap reorganization in the ultrafast IMT vary from $\simeq 40 \pm 8$ fs, i.e., shorter than a suggested phonon bottleneck, to $\sim 200\pm20$ fs, with an average value of $80 \pm 25$ fs, similar to results from previous studies on polycrystalline thin films. The variation is uncorrelated with crystal size, orientation, transition temperature, and initial insulating phase. This together with details of the nano-domain behavior during the thermally-induced IMT suggests a significant sensitivity to local variations in, e.g., doping, defects, and strain of the microcrystals. The combination of results points to an electronic mechanism dominating the photoinduced IMT in VO$_2$, but also highlights the difficulty of deducing mechanistic information where the intrinsic response in correlated matter may not yet have been reached.
Ultrafast supercontinuum fiber-laser based pump-probe scanning MOKE microscope for the investigation of electron spin dynamics in semiconductors at cryogenic temperatures with picosecond time and micrometer spatial resolution  [PDF]
T. Henn,T. Kiessling,W. Ossau,L. W. Molenkamp,K. Biermann,P. V. Santos
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1063/1.4842276
Abstract: We describe a two-color pump-probe scanning magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) microscope which we have developed to investigate electron spin phenomena in semiconductors at cryogenic temperatures with picosecond time and micrometer spatial resolution. The key innovation of our microscope is the usage of an ultrafast `white light' supercontinuum fiber-laser source which provides access to the whole visible and near-infrared spectral range. Our Kerr microscope allows for the independent selection of the excitation and detection energy while avoiding the necessity to synchronize the pulse trains of two separate picosecond laser systems. The ability to independently tune the pump and probe wavelength enables the investigation of the influence of excitation energy on the optically induced electron spin dynamics in semiconductors. We demonstrate picosecond real-space imaging of the diffusive expansion of optically excited electron spin packets in a (110) GaAs quantum well sample to illustrate the capabilities of the instrument.
Simulation and Design of a Submicron Ultrafast Plasmonic Switch Based on Nonlinear Doped Silicon MIM Waveguide  [PDF]
Ahmad Naseri Taheri, Hassan Kaatuzian
Journal of Computer and Communications (JCC) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/jcc.2013.17006

We propose and analyze a submicron stub-assisted ultrafast all-optical plasmonic switch based on nonlinear MIM waveguide. It is constructed by two silicon stub filters sandwiched by silver cladding. The signal wavelength is assumed to be 1550 nm. The simulation results show a ?14.66 dB extinction ratio. Downscaling the silicon waveguide in MIM structure leads to enhancement of the effective Kerr nonlinearity due to tight mode confinement. Also, using O+ ions implanted into silicon, the switching time less than 10 ps and a delay time less than 8 fs are achieved. The overall length of the switch is 550 nm.

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