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Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9050890

The Importance of Topological Defects in Photoexcited Phase Transitions Including Memory Applications

1
Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
CENN Nanocenter, Jamove 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 17 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photoinduced Cooperative Phenomena)
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Abstract

Photoinduced phase transitions have become a very important field of study with the advent of diverse time-resolved experimental techniques whose time resolution matches the electron, lattice, and spin relaxation dynamics associated with elementary excitations in quantum materials. Most techniques currently available rely on stroboscopic data-averaging over multiple transition outcomes. However, each time a transition takes place, fluctuations close to the time of the transition ensure that the phase transition outcome is different, with the emergence of different topological defect textures. In this paper, we briefly review the non-perturbative processes in selected charge-ordered quantum systems and the methods for their observation with different time-resolved techniques and scanning tunneling microscopy, which avoids the problem of averaging. The topological defect dynamics are seen to play an essential role in stabilizing emergent states in non-equilibrium transitions, appearing on different timescales as well as determining the emergent properties of the system. The phenomena are fundamentally important for understanding the fabric of matter in the Universe, as well as for possible applications in non-volatile memory devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: Photoinduced phase transitions; topological defects; domain walls; Kibble-Zurek phenomenon; time-resolved optical; time-resolved x-rays; photoexcited scanning tunneling microscopy; non-volatile memory Photoinduced phase transitions; topological defects; domain walls; Kibble-Zurek phenomenon; time-resolved optical; time-resolved x-rays; photoexcited scanning tunneling microscopy; non-volatile memory
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mihailovic, D. The Importance of Topological Defects in Photoexcited Phase Transitions Including Memory Applications. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 890.

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