Strain Wave Pathway to Semiconductor-to-Metal Transition Revealed by Time-Resolved X-ray Powder Diffraction
C. Mariette, et al.
Received Date: 15th May 20
C. Mariette, M. Lorenc, H. Cailleau, E. Collet, L. Guérin, A. Volte, E. Trzop, R. Bertoni, X. Dong, B. Lépine, O Hernandez, E. Janod, L. Cario, V. Ta Phuoc, S. Ohkoshi, H. Tokoro, L. Patthey, A. Babic, I. Usov, D. Ozerov, L. Sala, S. Ebner, P. Böhler, A Keller, A. Oggenfuss, T. Zmofing, S. Redford, S. Vetter, R. Follath, P. Juranic, A. Schreiber, P. Beaud, V. Esposito, Y Deng, G. Ingold, M. Chergui, G. F. Mancini, R. Mankowsky, C. Svetina, S. Zerdane, A. Mozzanica, M. Wulff, M. Levantino, H. Lemke, M. Cammarata
Thanks to the remarkable developments of ultrafast science, one of today's challenges is to modify material state by controlling with a light pulse the coherent motions that connect two different phases. Here we show how strain waves, launched by electronic and structural precursor phenomena, determine a macroscopic transformation pathway for the semiconducting-to-metal transition with large volume change in bistable Ti_3O_5 nanocrystals. Femtosecond powder X-ray diffraction allowed us to quantify the structural deformations associated with the photoinduced phase transition on relevant time scales. We monitored the early intra-cell distortions around absorbing metal dimers, but also long range crystalline deformations dynamically governed by acoustic waves launched at the laser-exposed Ti3O5 surface. We rationalize these observations with a simplified elastic model, demonstrating that a macroscopic transformation occurs concomitantly with the propagating acoustic wavefront on the picosecond timescale, several decades earlier than the subsequent thermal processes governed by heat diffusion.
Read in full at arXiv.
This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.