High intensity ultrashort pulse causes dramatic perturbations in electronic structure of condensed matter. In the same time energy in high intensity single pulse may not be sufficient to disrupt sample thermal equilibrium. Interesting experimental results in ultrashort pulse photo-excited solids have been reported recently on transient athermal phenomena induced by ultrashort high intensity low energy pulse – phenomena related to both athermal phase transitions and athermal state changes. Athermal non-equilibrium of electronic system – and induced changes in magnetic and optical states, may exist only for a period of time comparable to excited carriers’ relaxation time. That time is not sufficient for emerging application ranging from light induced superconductivity to infrared countermeasures. While single pulse interaction with condensed matter leading to transit state appearance is well observed, documented, and, to some extends, explained, one of the major problem is to maintain meta-stability of such transient states. Metastability of athermal non-equilibrium that could last well beyond electronic system relaxation time. The objective of this paper is to discuss some issues and approaches to meta-stability of transient states induced by ultrashort pulses in condensed matter.
Michael K. Rafailov, "Metastability of transient states," Proc. SPIE 10193, Ultrafast Bandgap Photonics II, 1019302 (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 10, 2017; Published: 22 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2266544.
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