Femtosecond laser excitation of crystal materials can produce coherent longitudinal acoustic phonons (CLAPs), which possess the capability to interact with various quasiparticles and influence their dynamics. The manipulation of CLAPs' behavior is thus of significant interest for potential applications, particularly in achieving ultrafast modulations of material properties. In this study, we present our findings on the propagation of laser-induced CLAPs at thin-film interfaces and heterojunctions using ultrafast optical reflectivity and ultrafast x-ray diffraction measurements. We observe that CLAPs can efficiently propagate from a LaMnO3 thin-film to its substrate due to the matching of their acoustic impedance, and the oscillation period increases from 54 to 105 GHz. In contrast, in ultrafast x-ray diffraction experiments, we discover that CLAPs are partially confined within an Au (111) thin film due to the mismatch of acoustic impedance with the substrates, leading to an oscillation period of 122 ps. However, interestingly, when examining bilayers, no oscillations are observed due to the favorable impedance matching between the layers. Our findings demonstrate that acoustic impedance can serve as an effective means to control coherent phonons in nanometer-thin films and may also play a crucial role in phonon engineering at interfaces or heterostructures.
Laser-induced coherent longitudinal acoustics phonons in thin films observed by ultrafast optical reflectivity and ultrafast x-ray diffraction
Junxiao Yu, Haijuan Zhang, Zefang Lv, Conglong Chen, Runze Li, Xiaofang Zhai, Jie Chen, Peter M. Rentzepis; Laser-induced coherent longitudinal acoustics phonons in thin films observed by ultrafast optical reflectivity and ultrafast x-ray diffraction. J. Appl. Phys. 14 September 2023; 134 (10): 105103. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0161873
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