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Colloquium:Nonthermal pathways to ultrafast control in quantum materials
Reviews of Modern Physics  (IF50.485),  Pub Date : 2021-10-14, DOI: 10.1103/revmodphys.93.041002
Alberto de la Torre, Dante M. Kennes, Martin Claassen, Simon Gerber, James W. McIver, Michael A. Sentef

Recent progress in utilizing ultrafast light-matter interaction to control the macroscopic properties of quantum materials is reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on photoinduced phenomena that do not result from ultrafast heating effects but rather emerge from microscopic processes that are inherently nonthermal in nature. Many of these processes can be described as transient modifications to the free energy landscape resulting from the redistribution of quasiparticle populations, the dynamical modification of coupling strengths, and the resonant driving of the crystal lattice. Other pathways result from the coherent dressing of a material’s quantum states by the light field. A selection of recently discovered effects leveraging these mechanisms, as well as the technological advances that led to their discovery, is discussed. A road map for how the field can harness these nonthermal pathways to create new functionalities is presented.