Selective scattering between Floquet-Bloch and Volkov states in a topological insulator

Fahad Mahmood, Ching Kit Chan, Zhanybek Alpichshev, Dillon Gardner, Young Lee, Patrick A. Lee, Nuh Gedik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The coherent optical manipulation of solids is emerging as a promising way to engineer novel quantum states of matter. The strong time-periodic potential of intense laser light can be used to generate hybrid photon-electron states. Interaction of light with Bloch states leads to Floquet-Bloch states, which are essential in realizing new photo-induced quantum phases. Similarly, dressing of free-electron states near the surface of a solid generates Volkov states, which are used to study nonlinear optics in atoms and semiconductors. The interaction of these two dynamic states with each other remains an open experimental problem. Here we use time- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (Tr-ARPES) to selectively study the transition between these two states on the surface of the topological insulator Bi 2 Se 3 . We find that the coupling between the two strongly depends on the electron momentum, providing a route to enhance or inhibit it. Moreover, by controlling the light polarization we can negate Volkov states to generate pure Floquet-Bloch states. This work establishes a systematic path for the coherent manipulation of solids via light-matter interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-310
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective scattering between Floquet-Bloch and Volkov states in a topological insulator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this