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Low-frequency Phonon at Perovskite Oxide Interface Studied by Surface-specific Nonlinear Terahertz Spectroscopy
preprintposted on 2023-01-12, 15:57 authored by Jiaming Le, Yudan Su, Junying Ma, Long Cheng, Yuen Ron Shen, Xiaofang Zhai, Chuanshan Tian
The low-frequency collective excitations, which often occur in the terahertz or multi-terahertz spectral region, play an essential role in many novel emergent phenomena. Despite numerous studies in the bulk, detection of such excitations at interfaces remains challenging owing to the lack of feasible experimental techniques. Here, we show that interfacial low-frequency modes can be characterized using surface-specific nonlinear terahertz spectroscopy. This technique uses intra-pulse difference frequency mixing (DFM) process that can extend the second-order optical spectroscopy to the terahertz range. As a demonstration, the surface phonon of SrTiO3(001) at 2.8 THz was successfully measured. This surface polarization originates from the excess of oxygen vacancies or charge transfer at the interface. We have also developed an analytical procedure for remote measurement of the interfacial potential of complex oxides in a practical environment. Our method offers new opportunities for in situ studies of the low-frequency excitations at interfaces in broad disciplines.