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  1. Abstract The Higgs mechanism, i.e., spontaneous symmetry breaking of the quantum vacuum, is a cross-disciplinary principle, universal for understanding dark energy, antimatter and quantum materials, from superconductivity to magnetism. Unlike one-band superconductors (SCs), a conceptually distinct Higgs amplitude mode can arise in multi-band, unconventional superconductors  via strong interband Coulomb interaction, but is yet to be accessed. Here we discover such hybrid Higgs mode and demonstrate its quantum control by light in iron-based high-temperature SCs. Using terahertz (THz) two-pulse coherent spectroscopy, we observe a tunable amplitude mode coherent oscillation of the complex order parameter from coupled lower and upper bands. The nonlinear dependence ofmore »the hybrid Higgs mode on the THz driving fields is distinct from any known SC results: we observe a large reversible modulation of resonance strength, yet with a persisting mode frequency. Together with quantum kinetic modeling of a hybrid Higgs mechanism, distinct from charge-density fluctuations and without invoking phonons or disorder, our result provides compelling evidence for a light-controlled coupling between the electron and hole amplitude modes assisted by strong interband quantum entanglement. Such light-control of Higgs hybridization can be extended to probe many-body entanglement and hidden symmetries in other complex systems.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. The metal-insulator transition in correlated materials is usually coupled to a symmetry-lowering structural phase transition. This coupling not only complicates the understanding of the basic mechanism of this phenomenon but also limits the speed and endurance of prospective electronic devices. We demonstrate an isostructural, purely electronically driven metal-insulator transition in epitaxial heterostructures of an archetypal correlated material, vanadium dioxide. A combination of thin-film synthesis, structural and electrical characterizations, and theoretical modeling reveals that an interface interaction suppresses the electronic correlations without changing the crystal structure in this otherwise correlated insulator. This interaction stabilizes a nonequilibrium metallic phase and leads tomore »an isostructural metal-insulator transition. This discovery will provide insights into phase transitions of correlated materials and may aid the design of device functionalities.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022