Triggering a Phase Transition by a Spatially Localized Laser Pulse: Role of Strain

Salma Bedoui, Manuel Lopes, William Nicolazzi, Sylvestre Bonnet, Sipeng Zheng, Gábor Molnár, Azzedine Bousseksou
2012 Physical Review Letters  
We report here the optical microscopic imaging of a first-order phase transition induced by a nanosecond laser pulse (532 nm) in a single crystal of the molecular spin-crossover complex [FeðbapbpyÞðNCSÞ 2 ]. The transition starts with the formation of a high spin domain in the region irradiated by the focused laser beam, followed by the subsequent growth or contraction of the initial domain. Remarkably, in otherwise identical experimental conditions one can observe either the irreversible
more » ... irreversible transition of the whole crystal or merely the formation of a transient domain-depending on which region of the crystal is excited. This observation as well as the rather slow dynamics suggest that the main control parameter is the inhomogeneous accommodation strain, which destabilizes the photoinduced domain.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.109.135702 pmid:23030105 fatcat:egbt3cjuafemvc3d55huuz6foq