Light-field driven currents in graphene

Higuchi T, Heide C, Ullmann K, Weber HB, Hommelhoff P (2016)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Letter

Publication year: 2016


Book Volume: 12


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Ultrafast electron dynamics in solids under strong optical fields has recently found particular attention. In dielectrics and semiconductors, various light-field-driven effects have been explored, such as high-harmonic generation, sub-optical-cycle interband population transfer and nonperturbative increase of transient polarizability. In contrast, much less is known about field-driven electron dynamics in metals because charge carriers screen an external electric field in ordinary metals. Here we show that atomically thin monolayer Graphene offers unique opportunities to study light-field-driven processes in a metal. With a comparably modest field strength of up to 0.3 V/{\AA}, we drive combined interband and intraband electron dynamics, leading to a light-field-waveform controlled residual conduction current after the laser pulse is gone. We identify the underlying pivotal physical mechanism as electron quantum-path interference taking place on the 1-femtosecond (10-15s)timescale. The process can be categorized as Landau-Zener-St\"uckelberg interferometry. These fully coherent electron dynamics in graphene take place on a hitherto unexplored timescale faster than electron-electron scattering (tens of femtoseconds) and electron-phonon scattering (hundreds of femtoseconds). These results broaden the scope of light-field control of electrons in solids to an entirely new and eminently important material class -- metals -- promising wide ramifications for band structure tomography and light-field-driven electronics.

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Higuchi, T., Heide, C., Ullmann, K., Weber, H.B., & Hommelhoff, P. (2016). Light-field driven currents in graphene. arXiv, 12.


Higuchi, Takuya, et al. "Light-field driven currents in graphene." arXiv 12 (2016).

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