Super-resolution lightwave tomography of electronic bands in quantum materials

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Science  04 Dec 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6521, pp. 1204-1207
DOI: 10.1126/science.abe2112

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Probing quantum materials

Unraveling the functionalities of quantum materials such as spin-valley-electronic, topological, and many-body effects provides a route to exploiting these materials for applications. Borsch et al. introduce a spectroscopic technique based on the concept of crystal-momentum combs. By extending the ideas of frequency combs of metrology and superresolution imaging, they demonstrate the ability to directly map out the properties of quantum electronic structures under ambient conditions. Using this technique combined with accurate many-body computations, they were able to reveal tomographic images of two-dimensional quantum materials.

Science, this issue p. 1204


Searching for quantum functionalities requires access to the electronic structure, constituting the foundation of exquisite spin-valley–electronic, topological, and many-body effects. All-optical band-structure reconstruction could directly connect electronic structure with the coveted quantum phenomena if strong lightwaves transported localized electrons within preselected bands. Here, we demonstrate that harmonic sideband (HSB) generation in monolayer tungsten diselenide creates distinct electronic interference combs in momentum space. Locating these momentum combs in spectroscopy enables super-resolution tomography of key band-structure details in situ. We experimentally tuned the optical-driver frequency by a full octave and show that the predicted super-resolution manifests in a critical intensity and frequency dependence of HSBs. Our concept offers a practical, all-optical, fully three-dimensional tomography of electronic structure even in microscopically small quantum materials, band by band.

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