Complex inorganic materials, e.g.,transition metal oxides and dichalcogenides, exhibit a range of impressive functionalities in the static regime owing to correlated electronic ground states and the ability to tune materials across electronic, magnetic, and structural phase boundaries. The unique aspects of these materials, including large nonlinearities, flexible electronic structure, and soft-phonon instabilities, give rise to novel properties tunable by static pressure, temperature, mechanical distortion, epitaxial strain, and applied electric or magnetic fields. Extending control over these properties to the dynamic realm requires an in-depth understanding of structure–property relationships of the transient and metastable states beyond equilibrium phase diagrams.
Ultrafast characterization techniques offer unprecedented insights into the structure-property relationship of metastable states and hidden order in functional materials. The application of ultrafast radiation, spanning a full range of electromagnetic spectrum from THz and optical to extreme ultraviolet and x-ray frequencies, has been widely used to resolve electronic and structural properties out of equilibrium. The recent development of novel ultrafast control schemes on femtosecond and picosecond time scales and near 5-10 nm length scales enabled by x-ray free-electron lasers and intense THz sources with new theoretical approaches have significantly advanced the ability to disentangle the interplays among the charge, lattice, spin, and orbital degrees of freedom in transition metal oxides and correlated materials.
The goal of this symposium is to bring together researchers working in this new field to establish a foundation for rational design, understanding, prediction, and control over new phases of complex oxides and dichalcogenides in the time domain. The symposium will address the opportunities and challenges afforded by exploring non-equilibrium phases, including properties and phenomena. It will span theory, computation, material growth and characterization, seeking to find a common discourse and understanding for this emerging field, where structure at various length scales (atomic to microstructure) combine with the complexity of transient states.