Quantum coherence tomography of light-controlled superconductivity

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2022-12-05
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Luo, L.
Mootz, M.
Kang, J. H.
Huang, C.
Eom, K.
Lee, J. W.
Vaswani, C.
Collantes, Y. G.
Hellstrom, E. E.
Perakis, I. E.
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Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)
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Wang, Jigang
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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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The coupling between superconductors and oscillation cycles of light pulses, i.e., lightwave engineering, is an emerging control concept for superconducting quantum electronics. Although progress has been made towards terahertz-driven superconductivity and supercurrents, the interactions able to drive non-equilibrium pairing are still poorly understood, partially due to the lack of measurements of high-order correlation functions. In particular, the sensing of exotic collective modes that would uniquely characterize light-driven superconducting coherence, in a way analogous to the Meissner effect, is very challenging but much needed. Here we report the discovery of parametrically driven superconductivity by light-induced order-parameter collective oscillations in iron-based superconductors. The time-periodic relative phase dynamics between the coupled electron and hole bands drives the transition to a distinct parametric superconducting state out-of-equalibrium. This light-induced emergent coherence is characterized by a unique phase–amplitude collective mode with Floquet-like sidebands at twice the Higgs frequency. We measure non-perturbative, high-order correlations of this parametrically driven superconductivity by separating the terahertz-frequency multidimensional coherent spectra into pump–probe, Higgs mode and bi-Higgs frequency sideband peaks. We find that the higher-order bi-Higgs sidebands dominate above the critical field, which indicates the breakdown of susceptibility perturbative expansion in this parametric quantum matter.
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This article is published as Luo, L., M. Mootz, Jong-Hoon Kang, Chuankun Huang, Kitae Eom, J. W. Lee, C. Vaswani et al. "Quantum coherence tomography of light-controlled superconductivity." Nature Physics 19, no. 2 (2023): 201-209. DOI:10.1038/s41567-022-01827-1. Copyright 2022 The Author(s). Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Posted with permission. DOE Contract Number(s): AC02-07CH11358; AC02-07CH11359; 1905981; FG02-06ER46327; GBMF9065; SC0019137
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