Theory of Photoinduced Phase Transitions

  • Yonemitsu Kenji
    Institute for Molecular Science Department of Functional Molecular Science, Graduate University for Advanced Studies
  • Nasu Keiichiro
    Institute of Materials Structure Science Department of Materials Structure Science, Graduate University for Advanced Studies

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Abstract

Theories of photoinduced phase transitions have developed along with the progress in experimental studies, especially concerning their nonlinear characters and transition dynamics. At an early stage, paths from photoinduced local structural distortions to global ones are explained in classical statistical models. Their dynamics are governed by transition probabilities and inevitably stochastic, but they were sufficient to describe coarse-grained time evolutions. Recently, however, a variety of dynamics including ultrafast ones are observed in different electronic states. They are explained in relevant electronic models. In particular, a coherent lattice vibration and coherent motion of a macroscopic domain boundary need appropriate interactions among electrons and lattice displacements. Furthermore, some transitions proceed almost in one direction, which can be explained by considering relevant electronic processes. We describe the history of theories of photoinduced phase transitions and discuss a future perspective.

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