Light-induced collective pseudospin precession resonating with Higgs mode in a superconductor

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Science  10 Jul 2014:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1254697

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Superconductors host collective modes that can be manipulated with light. We show that strong terahertz light field can induce oscillations of the superconducting order parameter in NbN with twice the frequency of the terahertz field. The result can be captured as a collective precession of Anderson's pseudospins in ac driving fields. A resonance between the field and the Higgs amplitude mode of the superconductor then results in large terahertz third-harmonic generation. The method we present here paves a way toward nonlinear quantum optics in superconductors with driving the pseudospins collectively, and can be potentially extended to exotic superconductors for shedding light on the character of order parameters and their coupling to other degrees of freedom.

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