Ultrafast optical control of the ZrTe5 electronic properties

Ultrafast optoelectronics consists in the capability to manipulate electronic transport properties via light at the sub picosecond (10-12 s) time scale. In this letter, we have addressed the origin of the resistivity anomaly in ZrTe5 and we have proven the possibility to manipulate its electronic properties at the ultra-short time scale via optical excitation with laser light.

Nowadays, optical switches are realized in oxides by exploiting phase transitions between metallic and insulating states. However, to meet the full integration with the current technology, optical control of semiconductors electronic properties is of pivotal importance.
In this respect, ZrTe5 represents an ideal system, which is fascinating the condensed matter community with its amazing set of transport properties. A resistivity peak is accompanied by the switch of the charge carriers, from holes to electrons. Magneto-resistivity is observed with both positive and negative sign, as a result of either the presence of three-dimensional Dirac particles or spin polarized two-dimensional Dirac particles.
Angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and Time resolved ARPES measurements have been carried out at the T-Rex laboratory giving a thorough insight in the origin of the unique behaviour of ZrTe5 band structure at the Fermi level.

  We report an energy shift of the band structure across the Fermi level by varying the temperatures.
We prove the capability to control it at the ultrafast scale by changing the material (electronic and lattice) temperature with a pulsed laser pulse. Therefore, by optically controlling the band structure binding energy and the charge carriers' lifetime, we unlock the route for a unique platform for magneto, optical and thermoelectric transport applications.

This research was conducted by the following research team:

Giulia Manzoni, Università degli studi di Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Andrea Sterzi, Università degli studi di Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Alberto Crepaldi, Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A., Trieste, Italy
Michele Diego, Università degli studi di Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Federico Cilento, Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A., Trieste, Italy
Michele Zacchigna, CNR-IOM Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Philippe Bougnon, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland
Helmuth Berger, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland
Arnaud Magrez, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland
Marco Grioni, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland
Fulvio Parmigiani, Università degli studi di Trieste, Trieste, Italy; Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A., Trieste, Italy; International faculty, University of Köln, Germany.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 July 2022 16:38