skip to main content

Title: Strong laser polarization control of coherent phonon excitation in van der Waals material Fe3GeTe2
Abstract Optical manipulation of coherent phonon frequency in two-dimensional (2D) materials could advance the development of ultrafast phononics in atomic-thin platforms. However, conventional approaches for such control are limited to doping, strain, structural or thermal engineering. Here, we report the experimental observation of strong laser-polarization control of coherent phonon frequency through time-resolved pump-probe spectroscopic study of van der Waals (vdW) materials Fe 3 GeTe 2 . When the polarization of the pumping laser with tilted incidence is swept between in-plane and out-of-plane orientations, the frequencies of excited phonons can be monotonically tuned by as large as 3% (~100 GHz). Our first-principles calculations suggest the strong planar and vertical inter-atomic interaction asymmetry in layered materials accounts for the observed polarization-dependent phonon frequencies, as in-plane/out-of-plane polarization modifies the restoring force of the lattice vibration differently. Our work provides insightful understanding of the coherent phonon dynamics in layered vdW materials and opens up new avenues to optically manipulating coherent phonons.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
npj 2D Materials and Applications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Engineering of phonons, that is, collective lattice vibrations in crystals, is essential for manipulating physical properties of materials such as thermal transport, electron‐phonon interaction, confinement of lattice vibration, and optical polarization. Most approaches to phonon‐engineering have been largely limited to the high‐quality heterostructures of III–V compound semiconductors. Yet, artificial engineering of phonons in a variety of materials with functional properties, such as complex oxides, will yield unprecedented applications of coherent tunable phonons in future quantum acoustic devices. In this study, artificial engineering of phonons in the atomic‐scale SrRuO3/SrTiO3superlattices is demonstrated, wherein tunable phonon modes are observed via confocal Raman spectroscopy. In particular, the coherent superlattices led to the backfolding of acoustic phonon dispersion, resulting in zone‐folded acoustic phonons in the THz frequency domain. The frequencies can be largely tuned from 1 to 2 THz via atomic‐scale precision thickness control. In addition, a polar optical phonon originating from the local inversion symmetry breaking in the artificial oxide superlattices is observed, exhibiting emergent functionality. The approach of atomic‐scale heterostructuring of complex oxides will vastly expand material systems for quantum acoustic devices, especially with the viability of functionality integration.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Exploiting polaritons in natural vdW materials has been successful in achieving extreme light confinement and low-loss optical devices and enabling simplified device integration. Recently, α-MoO3has been reported as a semiconducting biaxial vdW material capable of sustaining naturally orthogonal in-plane phonon polariton modes in IR. In this study, we investigate the polarization-dependent optical characteristics of cavities formed using α-MoO3to extend the degrees of freedom in the design of IR photonic components exploiting the in-plane anisotropy of this material. Polarization-dependent absorption over 80% in a multilayer Fabry-Perot structure with α-MoO3is reported without the need for nanoscale fabrication on the α-MoO3. We observe coupling between the α-MoO3optical phonons and the Fabry-Perot cavity resonances. Using cross-polarized reflectance spectroscopy we show that the strong birefringence results in 15% of the total power converted into the orthogonal polarization with respect to incident wave. These findings can open new avenues in the quest for polarization filters and low-loss, integrated planar IR photonics and in dictating polarization control.

    more » « less
  3. Magnetic excitations in van der Waals (vdW) materials, especially in the two-dimensional (2D) limit, are an exciting research topic from both the fundamental and applied perspectives. Using temperature-dependent, magneto-Raman spectroscopy, we identify the hybridization of two-magnon excitations with two phonons in manganese phosphorus triselenide (MnPSe 3 ), a magnetic vdW material that hosts in-plane antiferromagnetism. Results from first-principles calculations of the phonon and magnon spectra further support our identification. The Raman spectra’s rich temperature dependence through the magnetic transition displays an avoided crossing behavior in the phonons’ frequency and a concurrent decrease in their lifetimes. We construct a model based on the interaction between a discrete level and a continuum that reproduces these observations. Our results imply a strong hybridization between each phonon and a two-magnon continuum. This work demonstrates that the magnon-phonon interactions can be observed directly in Raman scattering and provides deep insight into these interactions in 2D magnetic materials. 
    more » « less
  4. Phonons are important lattice vibrations that affect the thermal, electronic, and optical properties of materials. In this work, we studied infrared phonon resonance in a prototype van der Waals (vdW) material—hexagonal boron nitride (hBN)—with the thickness ranging from monolayers to bulk, especially on ultra-thin crystals with atomic layers smaller than 20. Our combined experimental and modeling results show a systematic increase in the intensity of in-plane phonon resonance at the increasing number of layers in hBN, with a sensitivity down to one atomic layer. While the thickness-dependence of the phonon resonance reveals the antenna nature of our nanoscope, the linear thickness-scaling of the phonon polariton wavelength indicates the preservation of electromagnetic hyperbolicity in ultra-thin hBN layers. Our conclusions should be generic for fundamental resonances in vdW materials and heterostructures where the number of constituent layers can be conveniently controlled. The thickness-dependent phonon resonance and phonon polaritons revealed in our work also suggest vdW engineering opportunities for desired thermal and nanophotonic functionalities. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Methods to probe and understand the dynamic response of materials following impulsive excitation are important for many fields, from materials and energy sciences to chemical and neuroscience. To design more efficient nano, energy, and quantum devices, new methods are needed to uncover the dominant excitations and reaction pathways. In this work, we implement a newly-developed superlet transform—a super-resolution time-frequency analytical method—to analyze and extract phonon dynamics in a laser-excited two-dimensional (2D) quantum material. This quasi-2D system, 1T-TaSe2, supports both equilibrium and metastable light-induced charge density wave (CDW) phases mediated by strongly coupled phonons. We compare the effectiveness of the superlet transform to standard time-frequency techniques. We find that the superlet transform is superior in both time and frequency resolution, and use it to observe and validate novel physics. In particular, we show fluence-dependent changes in the coupled dynamics of three phonon modes that are similar in frequency, including the CDW amplitude mode, that clearly demonstrate a change in the dominant charge-phonon couplings. More interestingly, the frequencies of the three phonon modes, including the strongly-coupled CDW amplitude mode, remain time- and fluence-independent, which is unusual compared to previously investigated materials. Our study opens a new avenue for capturing the coherent evolution and couplings of strongly-coupled materials and quantum systems.

    more » « less