Electromagnetic radiation in the mid-infrared (MIR) wavelength region offers unique possibilities to steer the phase state of condensed matter. Selective excitation of low-energy modes, such as lattice vibrations [1], by intense few-cycle pulses in this spectral range has been shown to control insulator-metal transitions [2] or magnetism in manganites and to induce superconductivity in cuprates [3]. The availability of precisely tailored light pulses may open up new path ways for the control of such phase transitions at ultrahigh speeds.

© 2013 IEEE

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