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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Laser-Induced Cooperative Transition in Molecular Electronic Crystal.

Abstract

The competing and non-equilibrium phase transitions, involving dynamic tunability of cooperative electronic and magnetic states in strongly correlated materials, show great promise in quantum sensing and information technology. To date, the stabilization of transient states is still in the preliminary stage, particularly with respect to molecular electronic solids. Here, a dynamic and cooperative phase in potassium-7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (K-TCNQ) with the control of pulsed electromagnetic excitation is demonstrated. Simultaneous dynamic and coherent lattice perturbation with 8 ns pulsed laser (532 nm, 15 MW cm-2 , 10 Hz) in such a molecular electronic crystal initiates a stable long-lived (over 400 days) conducting paramagnetic state (≈42 Ωcm), showing the charge-spin bistability over a broad temperature range from 2 to 360 K. Comprehensive noise spectroscopy, in situ high-pressure measurements, electron spin resonance (ESR), theoretical model, and scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) studies provide further evidence that such a transition is cooperative, requiring a dedicated charge-spin-lattice decoupling to activate and subsequently stabilize nonequilibrium phase. The cooperativity triggered by ultrahigh-strain-rate (above 106 s- 1 ) pulsed excitation offers a collective control toward the generation and stabilization of strongly correlated electronic and magnetic orders in molecular electronic solids and offers unique electro-magnetic phases with technological promises.

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