We bring together two topics that, until now, have been the focus of intense but non-overlapping research efforts. The first concerns high-harmonic generation in solids, which occurs when an intense light field excites a highly non-equilibrium electronic response in a semiconductor or a dielectric. The second concerns many-body dynamics in strongly correlated systems such as the Mott insulator. We show that high-harmonic generation can be used to time-resolve ultrafast many-body dynamics associated with an optically driven phase transition, with accuracy far exceeding one cycle of the driving light field. Our work paves the way for time-resolving highly non-equilibrium many-body dynamics in strongly correlated systems, with few femtosecond accuracy.
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The authors acknowledge fruitful discussions with T. Oka, B. Amorim and P. Hawkins. M.I. and R.E.F.S. acknowledge support from EPSRC/DSTL MURI grant EP/N018680/1.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Silva, R.E.F., Blinov, I.V., Rubtsov, A.N. et al. High-harmonic spectroscopy of ultrafast many-body dynamics in strongly correlated systems. Nature Photon 12, 266–270 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-018-0129-0
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