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Controlling the properties of complex materials with light.

Fausti D.
  Mercoledì 14/09   13:30 - 18:30   Aula D - Marianna Ciccone   II - Fisica della materia   Presentazione
The rich phase diagrams of many transition metal oxides (TMOs) is the result of the intricate interplay between electrons, phonons, and magnons. This makes TMOs very susceptible to external parameters such as pressure, doping, magnetic field, and temperature which, in turn, can be used to finely tune their properties. The same susceptibility makes TMOs the ideal playground to design experiments where the interaction between tailored electromagnetic fields and matter can trigger the formation of new, sometimes exotic, physical properties. This aspect has been explored in time domain studies and has led to the demonstration that ultrashort mid-IR light pulses can "force" the formation of quantum coherent states in matter, disclosing a new regime of physics where thermodynamic limits may be bridged and quantum effects can, in principle, appear at ambient temperatures. In this contribution, I will introduce our new approaches to time domain spectroscopy going beyond mean photon number observables and review our recent results in archetypal strongly correlated cuprate superconductors which demonstrate the feasibility of a light-based control of quantum phases in real materials.