Light quantum control of persisting Higgs modes in iron-based superconductors
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The Higgs mechanism, i.e., spontaneous symmetry breaking of the quantum vacuum, is a cross-disciplinary principle, universal for understanding dark energy, antimatter and quantum materials, from superconductivity to magnetism. Unlike one-band superconductors (SCs), a conceptually distinct Higgs amplitude mode can arise in multi-band, unconventional superconductors via strong interband Coulomb interaction, but is yet to be accessed. Here we discover such hybrid Higgs mode and demonstrate its quantum control by light in iron-based high-temperature SCs. Using terahertz (THz) two-pulse coherent spectroscopy, we observe a tunable amplitude mode coherent oscillation of the complex order parameter from coupled lower and upper bands. The nonlinear dependence of the hybrid Higgs mode on the THz driving fields is distinct from any known SC results: we observe a large reversible modulation of resonance strength, yet with a persisting mode frequency. Together with quantum kinetic modeling of a hybrid Higgs mechanism, distinct from charge-density fluctuations and without invoking phonons or disorder, our result provides compelling evidence for a light-controlled coupling between the electron and hole amplitude modes assisted by strong interband quantum entanglement. Such light-control of Higgs hybridization can be extended to probe many-body entanglement and hidden symmetries in other complex systems.