Higgs amplitude mode in the BCS superconductors Nb1-xTi(x)N induced by terahertz pulse excitation

Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Aug 2;111(5):057002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.057002. Epub 2013 Jul 29.


Ultrafast responses of BCS superconductor Nb(1-x)Ti(x)N films in a nonadiabatic excitation regime were investigated by using terahertz (THz) pump-THz probe spectroscopy. After an instantaneous excitation with the monocycle THz pump pulse, a transient oscillation emerges in the electromagnetic response in the BCS gap energy region. The oscillation frequency coincides with the asymptotic value of the BCS gap energy, indicating the appearance of the theoretically anticipated collective amplitude mode of the order parameter, namely the Higgs amplitude mode. Our result opens a new pathway to the ultrafast manipulation of the superconducting order parameter by optical means.