Lightwave terahertz quantum manipulation of nonequilibrium superconductor phases and their collective modes

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2020-08-24
Authors
Mootz, M.
Wang, Jigang
Perakis, I. E.
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Ames Laboratory
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Physics and Astronomy
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Ames LaboratoryPhysics and Astronomy
Abstract

We present a gauge-invariant density matrix description of nonequilibrium superconductor (SC) states with spatial and temporal correlations driven by intense terahertz (THz) lightwaves. We derive superconductor Bloch-Maxwell equations of motion that extend Anderson pseudospin models to include the Cooper pair center-of-mass motion and electromagnetic propagation effects. We thus describe quantum control of dynamical phases, collective modes, quasiparticle coherence, and high nonlinearities during cycles of carrier wave oscillations, which relates to our recent experiments. Coherent photogeneration of a nonlinear supercurrent with a dc component, achieved via condensate acceleration by an effective lightwave field, dynamically breaks the equilibrium inversion symmetry. Experimental signatures include high harmonic light emission at equilibrium-symmetry-forbidden frequencies, Rabi-Higgs collective modes and quasiparticle coherence, and nonequilibrium moving condensate states tuned by few-cycle THz fields. We use such lightwaves as an oscillating accelerating force that drives strong nonlinearities and anisotropic quasiparticle populations to control and amplify different classes of collective modes, e.g., damped oscillations, persistent oscillations, and overdamped dynamics via Rabi flopping. Recent phase-coherent nonlinear spectroscopy experiments can be modeled by solving the full nonlinear quantum dynamics including self-consistent light-matter coupling.

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