Emitting electrons through phonons

Post date: Aug 28, 2015 3:54:26 PM

Recently I worked on the theory supporting an experiment performed by my collaborators in Hamburg which has been published in Nature Materials 14, 883–888 (2015). They used a mid-IR laser to excite a phonon mode in a substrate and then observed with time-resolved soft-X-ray diffraction the melting of magnetic order in a thin Nickelate film grown on top of the substrate.

This showed that the melt front propagating into the film travelled faster than the speed of sound. We conjectured an electronic mechanism involving electrons being made mobile at the interface and scrambling the magnetic order as they move. This work now has a News and Views article accompanying it, Nature Materials 14, 859–860 (2015).