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High-field THz source for pump-probe experiments at SwissFEL

Applicant Patthey Luc
Number 170760
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Paul Scherrer Institut
Institution of higher education Paul Scherrer Institute - PSI
Main discipline Condensed Matter Physics
Start/End 01.11.2017 - 31.10.2019
Approved amount 500'000.00
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Keywords (6)

Strongly correlated electron systems; Quantum materials; Intense single-cycle THz radiation; Pump-probe experiments; X-ray free-electron laser; Low-temperature x-ray diffraction

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Hochfeld-THz-Quelle am Röntgenlaser SwissFEL ermöglicht sogenannte Pump-Probe Experimente, bei welchen die Eigenschaften von Quantenmaterialien durch extrem intensive THz-Strahlung kontrolliert und mit den ultrakurzen Röntgenpulse von SwissFEL untersucht werden können.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Extrem intensive THz-Strahlung wird mittels eines neuartigen Konzepts erzeugt, bei welchem ein Chrom-Fosterit Laser zum Einsatz kommt. Der Aufbau wird auch erlauben die Polarisation und Bandbreite der THz-Strahlung zu kontrollieren.

Die Hochfeld-THz-Quelle am Röntgenlaser SwissFEL wird sogenannte Pump–Probe Experimente ermöglichen, bei welchen die Eigenschaften von Quantenmaterialien durch die THz-Strahlung kontrolliert und mit den ultrakurzen Röntgenpulse von SwissFEL untersucht werden können. Dadurch werden THz-induzierte Effekte auf der Längen- und Zeitskala der Atome und Elektronen messbar mittels zeitaufgelöster Röntgenstreuung und -spektroskopie. Das Projekt ist einzigartig aufgrund der Kombination der Hochfeld-THz-Quelle und den ultraschnellen & kohärenten SwissFEL-Röntgenpulse, sowie der Tieftemperatur-Probenumgebung am ESB Instrument.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Ultraschnelle elektromagnetische Pulse im THz-Frequenzbereich werden mehr und mehr benutzt um Eigenschaften von Quantenmaterialen zu beeinflussen. Der fundamentale Grund dafür besteht darin, dass sich Quantenphänomene wie Magnetismus oder Supraleitung auf Energieskalen abspielen, die dem THz-Frequenzbereich entsprechen.

Ein wichtiges Ziel ist es daher THz-Quellen zu entwickeln, welche ultrakurze, intensive elektromagnetische Pulse generieren können. Solche THz-Strahlung ermöglicht z.B. ultraschnelle Kontrolle von Magnetismus und das Initiieren von kollektiven Anregungen in Supraleitern. Nebst Grundlagenforschung ermöglichen solche Entwicklungen auch Anwendungen im Bereich von schnelleren Datenspeicher und effizienteren Katalysatoren.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 01.12.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Experimental station Bernina at SwissFEL: condensed matter physics on femtosecond time scales investigated by X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic methods
Ingold Gerhard, Abela Rafael, Arrell Christopher, Beaud Paul, Böhler Pirmin, Cammarata Marco, Deng Yunpei, Erny Christian, Esposito Vincent, Flechsig Uwe, Follath Rolf, Hauri Christoph, Johnson Steven, Juranic Pavle, Mancini Giulia Fulvia, Mankowsky Roman, Mozzanica Aldo, Oggenfuss Roland Alex, Patterson Bruce D., Patthey Luc, Pedrini Bill, Rittmann Jochen, Sala Leonardo, Savoini Matteo, et al. (2019), Experimental station Bernina at SwissFEL: condensed matter physics on femtosecond time scales investigated by X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic methods, in Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 26(3), 874-886.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of Chemistry (Prof. Keith Nelson) / MIT United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Laboratory for Synchrotron Radiation - Condensed Matter (Dr. U. Staub) / PSI Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Laboratory for Quantum Magnetism (Prof. H. Rønnow) / EPF Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Condensed Matter Theory Group (Dr. M. Müller) / PSI Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Synchrotron Radiation & Nanotechnology Research Division (Prof. G. Aeppli) / PSI, ETHZ & EPFL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
SwissFEL Bernina Group (Dr. Roman Mankowski) / PSI Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Ultrafast Dynamics Group (Prof. S. Johnson) / ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Laboratory for Neutron Scattering & Imaging (Prof. Ch. Rüegg) / PSI & Uni Geneva Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Laboratory for Quantum Matter Research (Prof. J. Chang) / Uni Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Laboratory for Scientific Developments and Novel Materials (Prof. M. Kenzelmann) / PSI & Uni Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
10th International Workshop on Sample Environment at Scattering Facilities Poster Low-temperature platform for THz pump - x-ray probe experiments at SwissFEL 02.09.2018 Berlin, Germany Patthey Luc; Gerber Simon;
X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy in very high magnetic fields at the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields Talk given at a conference Exploiting an x-ray free-electron laser to uncover 3-dimensional charge-density wave order in YBa2Cu3O6+∂ 22.01.2018 Hamburg, Switzerland Gerber Simon;
PSI Condensed Matter Retreat Talk given at a conference X-ray free-electron lasers – a new tool for the exploration of condensed matter 14.11.2017 Windisch, Switzerland Gerber Simon;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
178867 Electron-Phonon Interactions in Rare-Earth Nickelates and Superconducting Cuprates 01.10.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)
155873 Quantum MAny-body Physics in Solids 01.08.2015 Temporary Backup Schemes
166271 Nonlinear Probes of quantum localized systems 01.03.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
164051 Ultrafast light modulator driven by strong and tunable THz field 01.02.2016 Bilateral programmes
160765 Mott Physics Beyond the Heisenberg Model in Iridates and Related Materials 01.01.2016 Sinergia
165855 Search for novel multiferroic mechanism 01.12.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
166298 Quantum Magnetism - Checkerboards, Skyrmions and Dipoles 01.06.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
162626 Frustration in Quantum and Classical Magnets 01.12.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Ultrashort electromagnetic pulses with frequencies in the THz range have recently become a focus of research, in particular of strongly correlated materials. The fundamental reason is that the energy scale of low-temperature quantum phases, such as charge, spin or orbital order and also superconductivity, is in the meV range and, thus, corresponds to THz frequencies.An important objective is the development of broadband THz sources that deliver pulses with a single field-oscillation at high peak power. Such radiation is ideally suited for initiation and control of ultrafast processes by either non-resonant broadband excitation, or by selectively accessing THz active bands, e.g., lattice modes (phonons) or magnetic resonances (magnons) in crystalline structures and vibrational or rotational modes in molecules.Access to such modes by strong THz fields allows unprecedented control over transient states of matter on ultrafast time scales. Recent examples using intense THz radiation to influence ground states of quantum materials include: Ultrafast control of magnetism via the ferroelectric polarization in multiferroic compounds or driving and detecting the so-called Higgs mode in superconductors. In addition to the knowledge gained in basic research, this development is also expected to lead to advances in more applied fields, such as faster data storage technology and more efficient catalysts.However, many applications require significantly higher THz field strength than currently available. Thus, one of the bottlenecks of THz generation is the limited pulse energy (< 50 µJ) and field strength (a few MV/cm at maximum). Here we propose to overcome this limitation by use of a Cr:forsterite laser system to efficiently pump organic crystals that emit THz radiation. This approach will yield: i). THz fields up to E = 150 MV/cm (B = 50 T) and a pulse energy of 1.5 mJ, ii). polarization control using photo-elastic modulators, iii). narrow bandwidth option using metamaterial filters.The high-field THz source proposed here will enable pump-probe experiments at SwissFEL to directly study THz-driven effects at the inherent time and length scale of atoms by time-resolved femtosecond x-ray scattering. Intense single-cycle THz radiation will be used to pump the specimen, which is, thereafter, probed by hard x-ray pulses from the ARAMIS beamline. The project is unique due to the combination of the dedicated THz source, ultrashort and ultrabright x-ray pulses from SwissFEL, and the low-temperature capabilities (sub-5 K) of the ESB endstation.
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