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Science. 2003 Apr 25;300(5619):612-5.

Laser-induced ferroelectric structural order in an organic charge-transfer crystal.

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1
Groupe Matière Condensée et Matériaux, UMR CNRS 6626, Universite Rennes 1, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France.

Abstract

We report the direct observation by x-ray diffraction of a photoinduced paraelectric-to-ferroelectric structural phase transition using monochromatic 100-picosecond synchrotron pulses. It occurs in tetrathiafulvalene-p-chloranil, a charge-transfer molecular material in which electronic and structural changes are strongly coupled. An optical 300-femtosecond laser pulse switches the material from a neutral to an ionic state on a 500-picosecond time scale and, by virtue of intrinsic cooperativity, generates self-organized long-range structural order. The x-ray data indicate a macroscopic ferroelectric reorganization after the laser irradiation. Refinement of the structures before and after laser irradiation indicates structural changes at the molecular level.

PMID:
12714737
DOI:
10.1126/science.1082001
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