Persistent Photogenerated State Attained by Femtosecond Laser Irradiation of Thin Td‑MoTe2

Posted on 05.08.2022 - 21:40
Laser excitation has emerged as a means to expose hidden states of matter and promote phase transitions on demand. Such laser-induced transformations are often rendered possible owing to the delivery of spatially and/or temporally manipulated light, carrying energy quanta well above the thermal background. Here, we report time-resolved broadband femtosecond (fs) transient absorption measurements on thin flakes of the Weyl semimetal candidate Td-MoTe2 subjected to various levels and schemes of fs-photoexcitation. Our results reveal that impulsive fs-laser irradiation alters the interlayer behavior of the low temperature Td phase as evidenced by the persistent disappearance of its characteristic coherent 1A1 ≈ 13 cm–1 shear phonon mode. We found that this structural transformation is likely related to lattice strain formation, withstands thermal cycling, and can be reverted to the 1T′ phase by fs-laser treatment at room temperature. Since interlayer shear strain was encountered to lead to a topologically distinct phase in an analogous compound, our work opens the door to the reversible optical control of electronic properties in this class of materials.

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Cheng, Meixin; Zhong, Shazhou; Rivas, Nicolas; Dekker, Tina; Petruk, Ariel Alcides; Gicala, Patrick; et al. (2022): Persistent Photogenerated State Attained by Femtosecond Laser Irradiation of Thin Td‑MoTe2. ACS Publications. Collection. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.2c03987
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