The increasingly prominent role of light in information processing makes optoelectronic devices a technology of fundamental importance. Coherent control of currents in semiconductors using synthesized optical waveforms provides a sensitive and robust means to transfer information from light to an electronic circuit. Currents driven by Gaussian laser beams are spatially uniform in direction, offering limited technological utility. Full control over the transverse spatial distribution of currents excited in a material would vastly increase the versatility and impact of optoelectronic devices. Here we simultaneously control the waveform and vectorial arrangement of optical fields, enabling precise manipulation of the spatial distribution of currents in a semiconductor. As a direct application, we drive loop currents, embodying a new ultrafast magnetic field source. Subsequently, we demonstrate a scheme for generating an arbitrary superposition of two orthogonal current arrangements via subcycle adjustment of the optical waveform.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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This research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant Program, the Canada Research Chairs programme, the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (‘Topological Excitations in Electronics (TEE)’, agreement number D18AC00011) and the United States Army Research Office (award number W911NF-19-1-0211).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Sederberg, S., Kong, F., Hufnagel, F. et al. Vectorized optoelectronic control and metrology in a semiconductor. Nat. Photonics 14, 680–685 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-020-0690-1
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