Time evolution of the electronic structure of 1T-TaS2 through the insulator-metal transition

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Aug 11;97(6):067402. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.067402. Epub 2006 Aug 8.


Femtosecond time-resolved photoemission is used to investigate the time evolution of electronic structure in the Mott insulator 1T-TaS2. A collapse of the electronic gap is observed within 100 femtoseconds after optical excitation. The photoemission spectra and the spectral function calculated by dynamical mean field theory show that this insulator-metal transition is driven solely by hot electrons. A coherently excited lattice displacement results in a periodic shift of the spectra lasting for 20 ps without perturbing the insulating phase. This capability to disentangle electronic and phononic excitations opens new directions to study electron correlation in solids.