"Femtosecond electron-phonon lock-in by photoemission and x-ray free-electron laser"

S. Gerber: S.-L. Yang, D. Zhu, H. Soifer, J. A. Sobota, S. Rebec, J. J. Lee, T. Jia, B. Moritz, C. Jia, A. Gauthier, Y. Li, D. Leuenberger, Y. Zhang, L. Chaix, W. Li, H. Jang, J.-S. Lee, M. Yi, G. L. Dakovski, S. Song, J. M. Glownia, S. Nelson, K. W. Kim, Y.-D. Chuang, Z. Hussain, R. G. Moore, T. P. Devereaux, W.-S. Lee, P. S. Kirchmann, Z.-X. Shen; Science , 07/07/17.

Additional Authors: S.-L. Yang, D. Zhu, H. Soifer, J. A. Sobota, S. Rebec, J. J. Lee, T. Jia, B. Moritz, C. Jia, A. Gauthier, Y. Li, D. Leuenberger, Y. Zhang, L. Chaix, W. Li, H. Jang, J.-S. Lee, M. Yi, G. L. Dakovski, S. Song, J. M. Glownia, S. Nelson, K. W. Kim, Y.-D. Chuang, Z. Hussain, R. G. Moore, T. P. Devereaux, W.-S. Lee, P. S. Kirchmann, Z.-X. Shen

Abstract:

The interactions that lead to the emergence of superconductivity in iron-based materials remain a subject of debate. It has been suggested that electron-electron correlations enhance electron-phonon coupling in iron selenide (FeSe) and related pnictides, but direct experimental verification has been lacking. Here we show that the electron-phonon coupling strength in FeSe can be quantified by combining two time-domain experiments into a “coherent lock-in” measurement in the terahertz regime. X-ray diffraction tracks the light-induced femtosecond coherent lattice motion at a single phonon frequency, and photoemission monitors the subsequent coherent changes in the electronic band structure. Comparison with theory reveals a strong enhancement of the coupling strength in FeSe owing to correlation effects. Given that the electron-phonon coupling affects superconductivity exponentially, this enhancement highlights the importance of the cooperative interplay between electron-electron and electron-phonon interactions.