top of page

Terahertz Electrodynamics in Complex Materials

March 08, 2015 – March 13, 2015


San Diego, California, USA


Richard Averitt, University of California, San Diego
Dimitri Basov, University of California, San Diego


New experimental techniques in ultrafast optical spectroscopy have ushered in an exciting era of dynamics and control in complex materials. Experiments utilizing femto second optical pulses can initiate and probe dynamics of the spin, lattice, orbital, and charge degrees of freedom. The focus of this workshop is on exciting advances in the terahertz (THz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum (0.3 – 30THz where 1THz à 4.1 meV). One important aspect this workshop will cover is utilizing terahertz pulses to probe the delicate interplay of the relevant degrees of freedom in complex materials and how this determines to macroscopic functionality. A somewhat grander goal that will be a topic of considerable discussion is how to uncover hidden phases in complex materials utilizing THz pulses to initiate and control dynamic trajectories in a complex energy landscape. For example, in correlated transition metal oxides, time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy provides an approach to transiently modify the transition metal environment through tunneling or initiating coherent octahedral rotations and distortions. Successful examples of this approach include the demonstration of photoinduced superconductivity in the cuprates, and a THz induced insulator to metal transition in vanadium oxide. Examples abound in other materials including the very recent observation of the coherent Higgs amplitude mode in the BCS superconductor NbN.


This workshop will be co-located with OTST2015 (, which typically covers the latest advances in terahertz science and technology, but has not had a strong emphasis on complex materials. Thus, this workshop will serve to integrate complex matter research into this conference with the goal of having this topic well represented at future OTST conferences (held every two years). The invited workshop speakers include leading experimentalists and theorists working on THz spectroscopy of complex materials. This include Ryo Shimano (U. Tokyo) who observed the aforementioned Higgs mode, Martin Dressel (U. Stuttgart) who has performed seminal low-energy electrodynamics studies of heavy fermions, and Mackillo Kira (U. Marburg) and Renbao Liu (Chinese University of Hong Kong) both of whom are exploring many-body methods to model time-domain dynamics in complex matter. As such, this workshop will provide a unique setting for young scientists to learn about this nascent area of quantum materials.

The workshop portion of this conference will be held on Monday, March 9th, 2015 and will consist of invited presentations augmented with contributed presentations, a poster session, and integrated discussion to conform to the Frauenfelder rules. In addition, to facilitate an understanding of the tools and techniques used in terahertz spectroscopy of complex materials, there will be a tutorial session held on Sunday, March 8th. The tutorial will cover topics that include non-equilibrium dynamics using high-field THz pulses, terahertz-based graphene devices, and non-contact characterization of carrier dynamics in organic solar cells (tutorial speakers are, along with the invited speakers, listed below). We believe this will offer young researchers a solid background priming their participation in the workshop the following day.

Thrust Area

Soft Matter

Quantum Matter

bottom of page