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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Nov 7;101(19):197404. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Ultrafast electronic phase transition in La1/2Sr3/2MnO4 by coherent vibrational excitation: evidence for nonthermal melting of orbital order.

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Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.


An ultrafast electronic phase transition, associated with melting of orbital order, is driven in La1/2Sr3/2MnO4 by selectively exciting the Mn-O stretching mode with femtosecond pulses at 16 microm wavelength. The energy coupled into this vibration is less than 1% of that necessary to induce the transition thermally. Nonthermal melting of this electronic phase originates from coherent lattice displacements comparable to the static Jahn-Teller distortion.

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