Laboratory for material femtophysics
Exotic electronic phases are currently a hot topic in materials science and solid state physics: superconductivity, nanomagnetism, multiferroics, density waves, and different charge ordering. Understanding of the interactions between the charges, lattice, spin and orbitals is essential to design the material of desired properties by tuning these interactions. We study these promising new systems by pump-probe (P-p) ultrafast spectroscopy techniques, recording their response to an ultrashort excitation.
For instance, superconductors (SC) allow manufacture of the strongest known magnets, ultrasensitive magnetic field detectors (SQUIDs), efficient energy conduction, and frictionless transportation. Understanding mechanism to create SC state at high-temperatures may pave the way to engineer room temperature SCs and enable design of the lossless power grids, more affordable magnetically levitated transit systems, powerful supercomputers, and change the way energy is produced, transmitted, and used globally. P-p spectroscopy not only reveals time dynamics in such strongly correlated systems, but one can also excite system in a way that the crystal becomes superconducting at higher temperatures, even up to a few picoseconds long.
We intend to use terahertz (THz) radiation which has several distinct advantages over other wavelengths: many materials are THz transparent, it is non-ionizing (safe for living tissues), and many interesting materials have unique spectral fingerprints in the THz range. We will characterize the next-generation materials and prototype devices for THz data transfer and development of new sensors for specific applications.
Looking forward, the ability to control orientation of a single magnetic moment on the time scale below a picosecond using ultrafast lasers will allow a technological revolution of spintronics- magnetic recording/reading- and integrated multi-function devices. This also poses serious challenges to the development of theory since conventional methods usually fail to describe ultrafast demagnetization.