Research ArticleCONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS

Persistent coherence of quantum superpositions in an optimally doped cuprate revealed by 2D spectroscopy

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Science Advances  28 Feb 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 9, eaaw9932
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw9932

Abstract

Quantum materials displaying intriguing magnetic and electronic properties could be key to the development of future technologies. However, it is poorly understood how the macroscopic behavior emerges in complex materials with strong electronic correlations. While measurements of the dynamics of excited electronic populations have been able to give some insight, they have largely neglected the intricate dynamics of quantum coherence. Here, we apply multidimensional coherent spectroscopy to a prototypical cuprate and report unprecedented coherent dynamics persisting for ~500 fs, originating directly from the quantum superposition of optically excited states separated by 20 to 60 meV. These results reveal that the states in this energy range are correlated with the optically excited states at ~1.5 eV and point to nontrivial interactions between quantum many-body states on the different energy scales. In revealing these dynamics and correlations, we demonstrate that multidimensional coherent spectroscopy can interrogate complex quantum materials in unprecedented ways.

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