Monday, February 8, 2016
Abstract-Possible light-induced superconductivity in K3C60 at high temperature
The non-equilibrium control of emergent phenomena in solids is an important research frontier, encompassing effects such as the optical enhancement of superconductivity1. Nonlinear excitation2, 3 of certain phonons in bilayer copper oxides was recently shown to induce superconducting-like optical properties at temperatures far greater than the superconducting transition temperature, Tc(refs 4, 5, 6). This effect was accompanied by the disruption of competing charge-density-wave correlations7, 8, which explained some but not all of the experimental results. Here we report a similar phenomenon in a very different compound, K3C60. By exciting metallic K3C60 with mid-infrared optical pulses, we induce a large increase in carrier mobility, accompanied by the opening of a gap in the optical conductivity. These same signatures are observed at equilibrium when cooling metallic K3C60 below Tc (20 kelvin). Although optical techniques alone cannot unequivocally identify non-equilibrium high-temperature superconductivity, we propose this as a possible explanation of our results.