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Decoupling of static and dynamic criticality in a driven Mott insulator

de la Torre, Alberto and Seyler, Kyle L. and Buchhold, Michael and Baum, Yuval and Zhang, Gufeng and Laurita, Nicholas J. and Harter, John W. and Zhao, Liuyan and Phinney, Isabelle and Chen, Xiang and Wilson, Stephen D. and Cao, Gang and Averitt, Richard D. and Refael, Gil and Hsieh, David (2022) Decoupling of static and dynamic criticality in a driven Mott insulator. Communications Physics, 5 . Art. No. 35. ISSN 2399-3650. doi:10.1038/s42005-022-00813-6.

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Strongly driven antiferromagnetic Mott insulators have the potential to exhibit exotic transient phenomena that are forbidden in thermal equilibrium. However, such far-from-equilibrium regimes, where conventional time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau descriptions fail, are experimentally challenging to prepare and to probe especially in solid state systems. Here we use a combination of time-resolved second harmonic optical polarimetry and coherent magnon spectroscopy to interrogate n-type photo-doping induced ultrafast magnetic order parameter dynamics in the antiferromagnetic Mott insulator Sr₂IrO₄. We find signatures of an unusual far-from-equilibrium critical regime in which the divergences of the magnetic correlation length and relaxation time are decoupled. This violation of conventional thermal critical behavior arises from the interplay of photo-doping and non-thermal magnon population induced demagnetization effects. Our findings, embodied in a non-equilibrium phase diagram, provide a blueprint for engineering the out-of-equilibrium properties of quantum matter, with potential applications to terahertz spintronics technologies.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
de la Torre, Alberto0000-0002-6751-8205
Seyler, Kyle L.0000-0003-1553-4518
Buchhold, Michael0000-0001-5194-9388
Baum, Yuval0000-0003-4631-8551
Zhang, Gufeng0000-0001-8188-2559
Laurita, Nicholas J.0000-0002-7794-7951
Harter, John W.0000-0002-7146-9370
Zhao, Liuyan0000-0001-9512-3537
Chen, Xiang0000-0003-3997-8148
Wilson, Stephen D.0000-0003-3733-930X
Cao, Gang0000-0001-9779-430X
Averitt, Richard D.0000-0003-0451-1935
Hsieh, David0000-0002-0812-955X
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 23 November 2021; Accepted 19 January 2022; Published 04 February 2022. We thank L. Balents, A. Cavalleri, S. K. Cushing, E. Demler, S. Di. Matteo, M. Endres, B. Fine, N. Gedik, D. Kennes, O. Mehio, H. Ning, M. Norman, and M. Sentef for useful discussions. This work is supported by ARO MURI Grant No. W911NF-16-1-0361. D.H. also acknowledges support for instrumentation from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and from the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM), an NSF Physics Frontiers Center (PHY-1733907). A.d.l.T. acknowledges support from the Swiss National Science Foundation through an Early Postdoc Mobility Fellowship (P2GEP2165044). M.B. acknowledges support from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. N.J.L. acknowledges support from an IQIM Fellowship. G.C. acknowledges NSF support via a grant DMR-1712101. Data availability: All relevant data presented in this paper are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Author Contributions: X.C., S.D.W., and G.C. synthesized and characterized the Sr2IrO4 crystals. A.d.l.T., K.L.S., and I.P. performed the SHG-RA measurements. J.W.H., L.Z., and A.d.l.T. built the SHG-RA apparatus. G.Z. and R.D.A. performed the MOKE measurements. M.B., Y.B., and G.R. performed the Langevin theory calculations. A.d.l.T., N.J.L., and D.H. analyzed the data. A.d.l.T. and D.H. wrote the paper with input from all authors. The authors declare no competing interests. Communications Physics thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-16-1-0361
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)P2GEP2165044
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Magnetic properties and materials; Ultrafast photonics
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220113-234606083
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:de la Torre, A., Seyler, K.L., Buchhold, M. et al. Decoupling of static and dynamic criticality in a driven Mott insulator. Commun Phys 5, 35 (2022).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112905
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Jan 2022 19:28
Last Modified:10 Feb 2022 18:01

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