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A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Germany has made a groundbreaking discovery in the manipulation of quantum materials using laser drives. By adjusting the light source to 10 THz, they were able to create a long-lived superconducting-like state in a fullerene-based material (K3C60) using laser light, while decreasing the pulse intensity by a factor of 100.

The researchers were able to directly observe this light-induced state at room temperature for 100 picoseconds and predict that it has a lifetime of at least 0.5 nanoseconds. This discovery has implications for understanding the underlying microscopic mechanism of photo-induced superconductivity and could provide insight into the amplification of electronic properties in materials.

Andrea Cavalleri, founding director of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter and physics professor at both the University of Hamburg and Oxford, explained why this nonlinear response is interesting. The resonance frequency identified in this study can help theoretists understand which excitations are important for the effect in K3C60.

Edward Rowe, a Ph.D. student working with Cavalleri, added that using a higher repetition rate at the 10 THz frequency may help sustain the metastable state longer, potentially leading to continuous sustenance of the superconducting-like state. This research has significant potential to advance our understanding of quantum materials and their properties.

In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into how quantum materials can be manipulated using laser drives, opening up new possibilities for their use in various applications such as electronics and energy storage devices.

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