VernerPaperImageAuthors: V. K. Thorsmølle, M. Khodas, Z. P. Yin, Chenglin Zhang, S. V. Carr, Pengcheng Dai, and G. Blumberg

Abstract: The multiband nature of iron pnictides gives rise to a rich temperature-doping phase diagram of competing orders and a plethora of collective phenomena. At low dopings, the tetragonal-to-orthorhombic structural transition is closely followed by a spin-density-wave transition both being in close proximity to the superconducting phase. A key question is the nature of high-Tc superconductivity and its relation to orbital ordering and magnetism. Here we study the NaFe1-xCoxAs superconductor using polarization-resolved Raman spectroscopy. The Raman susceptibility displays critical enhancement of nonsymmetric charge fluctuations across the entire phase diagram, which are precursors to a d-wave Pomeranchuk instability at temperature θ(x). The charge fluctuations are interpreted in terms of quadrupole interorbital excitations in which the electron and hole Fermi surfaces breathe in-phase. Below Tc, the critical fluctuations acquire coherence and undergo a metamorphosis into a coherent in-gap mode of extraordinary strength.


150212154625_1_540x360 Authors: H.-H. Kung, R. E. Baumbach, E. D. Bauer, V. K. Thorsmølle, W.-L. Zhang, K. Haule, J. A. Mydosh, G. Blumberg

Abstract: A second-order phase transition in a physical system is associated with the emergence of an “order parameter” and a spontaneous symmetry breaking. The heavy fermion superconductor URu2Si2 has a “hidden order” (HO) phase below the temperature of 17.5 kelvin; the symmetry of the associated order parameter has remained ambiguous. Here we use polarization-resolved Raman spectroscopy to specify the symmetry of the low-energy excitations above and below the HO transition. We determine that the HO parameter breaks local vertical and diagonal reflection symmetries at the uranium sites, resulting in crystal field states with distinct chiral properties, which order to a commensurate chirality density wave ground state.


Nature Article Picture Authors: B. S. Dennis, M. I. Haftel, D. A. Czaplewski, D. Lopez, G. Blumberg and V. A. Aksyuk

Abstract: Highly confined optical energy in plasmonic devices is advancing miniaturization in photonics. However, for mode sizes approaching ≈10 nm, the energy increasingly shifts into the metal, raising losses and hindering active phase modulation. Here, we propose a nanoelectromechanical phase-modulation principle exploiting the extraordinarily strong dependence of the phase velocity of metal–insulator–metal gap plasmons on dynamically variable gap size. We experimentally demonstrate a 23-μm-long non-resonant modulator having a 1.5π rad range, with 1.7 dB excess loss at 780 nm. Analysis shows that by simultaneously decreasing the gap, length and width, an ultracompact-footprint π rad phase modulator can be realized. This is achieved without incurring the extra loss expected for plasmons confined in a decreasing gap, because the increasing phase-modulation strength from a narrowing gap offsets rising propagation losses. Such small, high-density electrically controllable components may find applications in optical switch fabrics and reconfigurable plasmonic optics.