"Direct characterization of photoinduced lattice dynamics in BaFe2As2"

S. Gerber: K.W. Kim, Y. Zhang, D. Zhu, N. Plonka, M. Yi, G.L. Dakovski, D. Leuenberger, P.S. Kirchmann, R.G. Moore, M. Chollet, J.M. Glownia, Y. Feng, J.-S. Lee, A. Mehta, A.F. Kemper, T. Wolf, Y.-D. Chuang, Z. Hussain, C.-C. Kao, B. Moritz, Z.-X. Shen, T.P. Devereaux & W.-S. Lee; Nature Communications, 06/08/15.

Additional Authors: K.W. Kim, Y. Zhang, D. Zhu, N. Plonka, M. Yi, G.L. Dakovski, D. Leuenberger, P.S. Kirchmann, R.G. Moore, M. Chollet, J.M. Glownia, Y. Feng, J.-S. Lee, A. Mehta, A.F. Kemper, T. Wolf, Y.-D. Chuang, Z. Hussain, C.-C. Kao, B. Moritz, Z.-X. Shen, T.P. Devereaux & W.-S. Lee

Abstract:

Ultrafast light pulses can modify electronic properties of quantum materials by perturbing the underlying, intertwined degrees of freedom. In particular, iron-based superconductors exhibit a strong coupling among electronic nematic fluctuations, spins and the lattice, serving as a playground for ultrafast manipulation. Here we use time-resolved X-ray scattering to measure the lattice dynamics of photoexcited BaFe2As2. On optical excitation, no signature of an
ultrafast change of the crystal symmetry is observed, but the lattice oscillates rapidly in time due to the coherent excitation of an A1g mode that modulates the Fe–As–Fe bond angle. We directly quantify the coherent lattice dynamics and show that even a small photoinduced lattice distortion can induce notable changes in the electronic and magnetic properties. Our analysis implies that transient structural modification can be an effective tool for manipulating the electronic properties of multi-orbital systems, where electronic instabilities are sensitive to the orbital character of bands.