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New scientific highlights- by MUST PIs Majed Chergui and Steve Johnson
The FP-RESOMUS Grant Agreement- now signed by the ETH Zürich and the European Commission
Cluster of Excellence RESOLV extended- our partner in FP-RESOMUS and the biannual Science and Gender Meetings
Kontext - A radio broadcast with Ursula Keller and Aline Rickli - on leadership positions for women in science (in German)
Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for groundbreaking inventions: intense ultrafast laser pulses and optical tweezers
Ambizione grant awarded to Elsa Abreu- in Steve Johnson's group
Fabrizio Carbone promoted Associate Professor of Physics- in the EPFL School of Basic Sciences from 1st of August
New scientific highlights- by MUST PIs Ursula Keller, Gebhard Schertler / Jörg Standfuss, Majed Chergui, Peter Hamm
White Paper Photonics Switzerland- presented June 20, 2018 at the Swissmem "Industrietag"

Photoinduced transitions in magnetoresistive manganites: A comprehensive view

January 31, 2018

Nonthermal control of materials properties: key to developing technologically relevant applications

The excitation of charge-ordered manganites with near-infrared pulses induces a rich dynamical response, including the melting of charge order, the relaxation of structural distortions and the rearrangement of the spins. Using the FEMTO slicing source at SLS, we have studied the structural response during the photoinduced transition in Pr1-xCaxMnO3 thin films. By investigating the dynamics of both superlattice reflections and regular Bragg peaks, we disentangle the different structural contributions and analyze their relevant time-scales. Comparing these results with studies of the charge order and magnetic dynamics, a comprehensive picture of the phase transition is proposed, linked to a single critical fluence fc. For excitations below fc, the charge order and the superlattice are only partially suppressed and the ground state recovers within a few tens of nanosecond via diffusive cooling. When exciting above the critical fluence the superlattice vanishes within approximately half a picosecond followed by a change of the unit cell parameters on a 10 picoseconds time-scale. At this point all memory from the symmetry breaking is lost and the recovery time increases by many orders of magnitude due to the first order character of the structural phase transition. Finally while the melting of the charge order and the disappearance of the superlattice are continuous with fluence, the deformation of the unit cell displays a threshold behavior, which is similar to that found for the emergence of ferromagnetic correlations.

Figure (a) Sketch of the grazing incident geometry at the FEMTO slicing source. (b) Rocking curves of the (002) Bragg reflection at various time delays for a fluence of 8.2 mJ/cm2. (c) Fitted (002) position as a function of time at 100 K (black squares) and 250 K (red dots). At 100 K, the peak shifts towards the high temperature position within 15 ps, evidencing a monoclinic-to-orthorhombic transition.

Reference:  V. Esposito,  L. Rettig, E. Abreu, E. Bothschafter,G. Ingold, M. Kawasaki, M. Kubli, G. Lantz, M. Nakamura, J. Rittman, M. Savoini, Y. Tokura, U. Staub, S. L. Johnson and P. Beaud, Photoinduced transitions in magnetoresistive manganites: A comprehensive view, Phys. Rev. B 97, 014312 (2018). (10.1103/PhysRevB.97.014312) Esposito-2018


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