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Title: Decoupling of static and dynamic criticality in a driven Mott insulator

Strongly driven antiferromagnetic Mott insulators have the potential to exhibit exotic transient phenomena that are forbidden in thermal equilibrium. However, such far-from-equilibrium regimes, where conventional time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau descriptions fail, are experimentally challenging to prepare and to probe especially in solid state systems. Here we use a combination of time-resolved second harmonic optical polarimetry and coherent magnon spectroscopy to interrogaten-type photo-doping induced ultrafast magnetic order parameter dynamics in the antiferromagnetic Mott insulator Sr2IrO4. We find signatures of an unusual far-from-equilibrium critical regime in which the divergences of the magnetic correlation length and relaxation time are decoupled. This violation of conventional thermal critical behavior arises from the interplay of photo-doping and non-thermal magnon population induced demagnetization effects. Our findings, embodied in a non-equilibrium phase diagram, provide a blueprint for engineering the out-of-equilibrium properties of quantum matter, with potential applications to terahertz spintronics technologies.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Communications Physics
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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