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Ultrafast X-ray imaging of the light-induced phase transition in VO2

DOI: 10.1038/s41567-022-01848-w DOI Help

Authors: Allan S. Johnson (The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology) , Daniel Perez-Salinas (The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology) , Khalid M. Siddiqui (Aarhus University) , Sungwon Kim (Sogang University) , Sungwook Choi (Sogang University) , Klara Volckaert (Aarhus University) , Paulina E. Majchrzak (Aarhus University) , Soeren Ulstrup (Aarhus University) , Naman Agarwal (Aarhus University) , Kent Hallman (Vanderbilt University) , Richard F. Haglund (Vanderbilt University) , Christian M. Günther (Technische Universität Berlin) , Bastian Pfau (Max-Born-Institut) , Stefan Eisebitt (Technische Universität Berlin) , Dirk Backes (Diamond Light Source) , Francesco Maccherozzi (Diamond Light Source) , Ann Fitzpatrick (Diamond Light Source) , Sarnjeet S. Dhesi (Diamond Light Source) , Pierluigi Gargiani (ALBA Synchrotron Light Source) , Manuel Valvidares (ALBA Synchrotron Light Source) , Nongnuch Artrith (Utrecht University) , Frank De Groot (Utrecht University) , Hyeongi Choi (Pohang Accelerator Laboratory) , Dogeun Jang (Pohang Accelerator Laboratory) , Abhishek Katoch (Pohang Accelerator Laboratory) , Soonnam Kwon (Pohang Accelerator Laboratory) , Sang Han Park (Pohang Accelerator Laboratory) , Hyunjung Kim (Sogang University) , Simon E. Wall (Aarhus University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Physics , VOL 364

State: Published (Approved)
Published: December 2022
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 22048

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Using light to control transient phases in quantum materials is an emerging route to engineer new properties and functionality, with both thermal and non-thermal phases observed out of equilibrium. Transient phases are expected to be heterogeneous, either through photo-generated domain growth or by generating topological defects, and this impacts the dynamics of the system. However, this nanoscale heterogeneity has not been directly observed. Here we use time- and spectrally resolved coherent X-ray imaging to track the prototypical light-induced insulator-to-metal phase transition in vanadium dioxide on the nanoscale with femtosecond time resolution. We show that the early-time dynamics are independent of the initial spatial heterogeneity and observe a 200 fs switch to the metallic phase. A heterogeneous response emerges only after hundreds of picoseconds. Through spectroscopic imaging, we reveal that the transient metallic phase is a highly orthorhombically strained rutile metallic phase, an interpretation that is in contrast to those based on spatially averaged probes. Our results demonstrate the critical importance of spatially and spectrally resolved measurements for understanding and interpreting the transient phases of quantum materials.

Journal Keywords: Electronic devices; Electronic properties and materials; Phase transitions and critical phenomena; X-rays

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics, Technique Development

Instruments: I06-Nanoscience (XPEEM)

Added On: 23/12/2022 08:03


Discipline Tags:

Quantum Materials Hard condensed matter - electronic properties Technique Development - Materials Science Physics Materials Science

Technical Tags:

Diffraction Soft X-ray Diffraction (SXD)