S. Lupi

Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (246)565.8 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: TeraFERMI is the new terahertz (THz) beamline for pump–probe studies on the femtosecond time-scale, under construction at the FERMI free-electron laser (FEL) facility in Trieste, Italy. The beamline will take advantage of the coherent radiation emitted by the spent electrons from the FEL undulators, before being dumped. This will result in short, coherent, high-power THz pulses to be used as a pump beam, in order to modulate structural properties of matter, thereby inducing phase transitions. The TeraFERMI beamline collects THz radiation in the undulator hall and guides it along a beam pipe which is approximately 30 m long, extending across the safety hutch and two shielding walls. Here the optical design, which will allow the efficient transport of the emitted THz radiation in the experimental hall, is presented.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Synchrotron Radiation
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    ABSTRACT: Papers presented at the 2nd Bilateral Indo-Italian Workshop NEEM 2015 Rome, Italy October 12-14, 2015 Organized with the support of the Directorate General for the Country Promotion Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation by Consorzio Hypatia Department of Science & Technology of India IMEM-CNR Institute for Plasma Research (Ghandinagar) Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) – Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati Rome International Center for Materials Science Superstripes RICMASS Università Sapienza Università di Roma Accademia dei Lincei and Regione Lazio
    Full-text · Book · Nov 2015
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    Full-text · Conference Paper · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The combination of photoemission spectroscopies, infrared and UV-VIS absorption, and electric measurements has allowed to clarify the mechanisms governing the conductivity and the electronic properties of Al-doped ZnO (AZO) films in a wide doping range. The contribution of defect-related in-gap states to conduction has been excluded in optimally doped films (around 4 at. %). The appearance of gap states at high doping, the disappearance of occupied DOS at Fermi level, and the bands evolution complete the picture of electronic structure in AZO when doped above 4 at. %. In this situation, compensating defects deplete the conduction band and increase the electronic bandgap of the material. Electrical measurements and figure of merit determination confirm the high quality of the films obtained by magnetron sputtering, and thus allow to extend their properties to AZO films in general.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Applied Physics
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    ABSTRACT: Cs3C60 is an antiferromagnetic insulator that under pressure (P) becomes metallic and superconducting below Tc = 38 K. The superconducting dome present in the T - P phase diagram close to a magnetic state reminds what found in superconducting cuprates and pnictides, strongly suggesting that superconductivity is not of the conventional Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) type We investigate the insulator to metal transition induced by pressure in Cs3C60 by means of infrared spectroscopy supplemented by Dynamical Mean-Field Theory calculations. The insulating compound is driven towards a metallic-like behaviour, while strong correlations survive in the investigated pressure range. The metallization process is accompanied by an enhancement of the Jahn-Teller effect. This shows that electronic correlations are crucial in determining the insulating behaviour at ambient pressure and the bad metallic nature for increasing pressure. On the other hand, the relevance of the Jahn-Teller coupling in the metallic state confirms that phonon coupling survives in the presence of strong correlations.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Scientific Reports
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    ABSTRACT: LiOsO$_3$ has been recently identified as the first unambiguous "ferroelectric metal", experimentally realizing a prediction from 1965 by Anderson and Blount. In this work, we investigate the metallic state in LiOsO$_3$ by means of infrared spectroscopy supplemented by Density Functional Theory and Dynamical Mean Field Theory calculations. Our measurements and theoretical calculations clearly show that LiOsO$_3$ is a very bad metal with a small quasiparticle weight, close to a Mott-Hubbard localization transition. The agreement between experiments and theory allows us to ascribe all the relevant features in the optical conductivity to strong electron-electron correlations within the $t_{2g}$ manifold of the osmium atoms.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Both the collective (plasmon) and the single particle (Drude) excitations of an electron gas can be controlled and modified by an external magnetic field B. At finite B, plasmon gives rise to a magnetoplasmon mode and the Drude term to a cyclotron resonance. These magnetic effects are expected to be extremely strong for Dirac electrons with a linear energy-momentum dispersion, like those present in graphene and topological insulators (TIs). Here, we investigate both the plasmon and the Drude response versus B in Bi2Se3 topological insulator. At low B, the cyclotron resonance is still well separated in energy from the magnetoplasmon mode; meanwhile, both excitations asymptotically converge at the same energy for increasing B, consistently with a dynamical mass for Dirac carriers of mD* = 0.18 ± 0.01 me. In TIs, one then achieves an excellent magnetic control of plasmonic excitations and this could open the way toward plasmon controlled terahertz magneto-optics.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: An intrinsic instability towards inhomogeneous states is emerging as the prominent feature of underdoped cuprates and manifests itself in a variety of ways including the spontaneous emergence of charge-order patterns at low temperature. The experimental evidences show a general trend where various instabilities, that break different symmetries at the nanometric scale, appear below a characteristic temperature and only up to a critical hole doping p$_{cr}$. This revives the long debated question whether this behaviour is just the consequence of the tendency to develop a specific long-range symmetry-broken phase, or it is the low-energy manifestation of a more general precursory state, which arises from strong electronic correlations suddenly changing at p$_{cr}$. Here we solve this question by investigating the ultrafast dynamics of the O-2p$\rightarrow$Cu-3d charge-transfer process in Bi$_2$Sr$_{2-x}$La$_x$CuO$_{6+\delta}$, and by linking these results to the doping evolution of the charge-order instability on the same material. We demonstrate that the doping p$_{cr}$, at which the amplitude of the spontaneous charge modulation vanishes at low temperature, also marks a sharp and drastic change in the character of the Cu-3d and O-2p wavefunctions, that turn from localized - as in a Mott insulator - to delocalized - as in a conventional metal. Since the p=p$_{cr}$ turning point is observed at room temperature, we conclude that there exists an underlying correlated state, characterized by the localization of the Cu-O wavefunctions and the related quenching of the O-2p$\rightarrow$Cu-3d charge fluctuations, that is precursor to the low-temperature charge-order and, possibly, to the other instabilities that fan out from a zero-temperature quantum critical point at p$_{cr}$.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present an experimental and theoretical study exploring surface effects on the evolution of the metal-insulator transition in the model Mott-Hubbard compound Cr-doped V$_2$O$_3$. We find a microscopic domain formation that is clearly affected by the surface crystallographic orientation. Using scanning photoelectron microscopy and X-ray diffraction, we find that surface defects act as nucleation centers for the formation of domains at the temperature-induced isostructural transition and favor the formation of microscopic metallic regions. A density functional theory plus dynamical mean field theory study of different surface terminations shows that the surface reconstruction with excess vanadyl cations leads to doped, and hence more metallic surface states, explaining our experimental observations.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Physical Review Letters
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    ABSTRACT: The combination of amino acid anions with the choline cation gives origin to a new and potentially important class of organic ionic liquids that might represent a viable and bio-compatible alternative with respect to the traditional ones. We present here a detailed study of the bulk phase of the prototype system composed of the simplest amino acid (alanine) anion and the choline cation, based on ab initio and classical molecular dynamics. Theoretical findings have been validated by comparing with accurate experimental X-ray diffraction data and infrared spectra. We find that hydrogen bonding (HB) features in these systems are crucial in establishing their local geometric structure. We have also found that these HBs once formed are persistent and that the proton resides exclusively on the choline cation. In addition, we show that a classical force field description for this particular ionic liquid can be accurately performed by using a slightly modified version of the generalized AMBER force field.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · The Journal of Chemical Physics
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    ABSTRACT: The control of non-equilibrium phenomena in complex solids is an important research frontier, encompassing new effects like light induced superconductivity. Here, we show that coherent optical excitation of molecular vibrations in the organic conductor K3C60 can induce a non-equilibrium state with the optical properties of a superconductor. A transient gap in the real part of the optical conductivity and a low-frequency divergence of the imaginary part are measured for base temperatures far above equilibrium Tc=20 K. These findings underscore the role of coherent light fields in inducing emergent order.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015
  • M. Autore · F. Giorgianni · S. Lupi
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    ABSTRACT: Topological Insulators are band insulators in their bulk and exhibit metallic states on their surfaces characterized by a Dirac energy/momentum dispersion. In this paper we will present experimental data about Dirac plasmons in TIs as measured through terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. In particular we will discuss their frequency/momentum dispersion and their sub-ps dynamics measured by optical-pump/terahertz-probe spectroscopy.
    No preview · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Vanadium sesquioxide V2O3 is considered a textbook example of Mott-Hubbard physics. In this paper we present an extended optical study of its whole temperature/doping phase diagram as obtained by doping the pure material with M=Cr or Ti atoms (V1-xMx)2O3. We reveal that its thermodynamically stable metallic and insulating phases, although macroscopically equivalent, show very different low-energy electrodynamics. The Cr and Ti doping drastically change both the antiferromagnetic gap and the paramagnetic metallic properties. A slight chromium content induces a mesoscopic electronic phase separation, while the pure compound is characterized by short-lived quasiparticles at high temperature. This study thus provides a new comprehensive scenario of the Mott-Hubbard physics in the prototype compound V2O3.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Physical Review B
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    ABSTRACT: The great potential of Dirac electrons for plasmonics and photonics has been readily recognized after their discovery in graphene, followed by applications to smart optical devices. Dirac carriers are also found in topological insulators (TI) --quantum systems having an insulating gap in the bulk and intrinsic Dirac metallic states at the surface--. Here, we investigate the plasmonic response of ring structures patterned in Bi$_2$Se$_3$ TI films, which we investigate through terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. The rings are observed to exhibit a bonding and an antibonding plasmon modes, which we tune in frequency by varying their diameter. We develop an analytical theory based on the THz conductivity of unpatterned films, which accurately describes the strong plasmon-phonon hybridization and Fano interference experimentally observed as the bonding plasmon is swiped across the promineng 2\,THz phonon exhibited by this material. This work opens the road for the investigation of plasmons in topological insulators and for their application in tunable THz devices.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Advanced Optical Materials
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    ABSTRACT: Amyloid and amyloid-like fibrils are a general class of protein aggregates and represent a central topic in life sciences for their involvement in several neurodegenerative disorders and their unique mechanical and supramolecular morphological properties. Both their biological role and their physical properties, including their high mechanical stability and thermodynamic inertia, are related to the structural arrangement of proteins in the aggregates at molecular level. Significant variations may exist in the supramolecular organization of the commonly termed cross-β structure that constitutes the amyloid core. In this context, a fine knowledge of the structural details in fibrils may give significant information on the assembly process and on possible ways of tuning or inhibiting it. Here we propose a simple method based on the combined use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy to accurately reveal structural details in the fibrillar aggregates, side-chain exposure and intermolecular interactions. Interestingly, coupled analysis of mid-infrared spectra reveals antiparallel β-sheet orientation in ConA fibrils. We also report the comparison between THz absorption spectra of Concanavalin A in its native and fibrillar state at different hydration levels, allowing obtaining corroboration of peaks assignation in this range and information on the effect of amyloid supramolecular arrangement on the network dynamics of hydration water. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Biophysical chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied the optical properties of four $({\mathrm{LaNiO}}_{3}{)}_{n}/({\mathrm{LaMnO}}_{3}{)}_{2}$ superlattices (SL) ($n=2,3,4,5$) on ${\mathrm{SrTiO}}_{3}$ substrates. We have measured the reflectivity at temperatures from 20 to 400 K, and extracted the optical conductivity through a fitting procedure based on a Kramers-Kronig consistent Lorentz-Drude model. With increasing ${\mathrm{LaNiO}}_{3}$ thickness, the SLs undergo an insulator-to-metal transition (IMT) that is accompanied by the transfer of spectral weight from high to low frequency. The presence of a broad midinfrared band, however, shows that the optical conductivity of the $({\mathrm{LaNiO}}_{3}{)}_{n}/({\mathrm{LaMnO}}_{3}{)}_{2}$ SLs is not a linear combination of the ${\mathrm{LaMnO}}_{3}$ and ${\mathrm{LaNiO}}_{3}$ conductivities. Our observations suggest that interfacial charge transfer leads to an IMT due to a change in valence at the Mn and Ni sites.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Physical Review Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced accelerator technology, based on plasma structures, requires high brightness electron beams, which can be used also to drive advanced radiation sources. Indeed, electron beams to be injected into the plasma and accelerated in the plasma channel are characterized by small transverse size and ultra-short time duration, allowing the production of coherent radiation in the THz range. In the present work we report both theoretical and experimental studies on the spatial/angular distribution of Coherent Transition and Diffraction Radiation in the pre-wave zone.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied the optical properties of four (LaNiO$_3$)$_n$/(LaMnO$_3$)$_2$ superlattices (SL) ($n$=2, 3, 4, 5) on SrTiO$_3$ substrates. We have measured the reflectivity at temperatures from 20 K to 400 K, and extracted the optical conductivity through a fitting procedure based on a Kramers-Kronig consistent Lorentz-Drude model. With increasing LaNiO$_3$ thickness, the SLs undergo an insulator-to-metal transition (IMT) that is accompanied by the transfer of spectral weight from high to low frequency. The presence of a broad mid-infrared band, however, shows that the optical conductivity of the (LaNiO$_3$)$_n$/(LaMnO$_3$)$_2$ SLs is not a linear combination of the LaMnO$_3$ and LaNiO$_3$ conductivities. Our observations suggest that interfacial charge transfer leads to an IMT due to a change in valence at the Mn and Ni sites.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Physical Review Letters
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    ABSTRACT: One of the pivotal questions in the physics of high-temperature superconductors is whether the low-energy dynamics of the charge carriers is mediated by bosons with a characteristic timescale. This issue has remained elusive since electronic correlations are expected to dramatically speed up the electron-boson scattering processes, confining them to the very femtosecond timescale that is hard to access even with state-of-the-art ultrafast techniques. Here we simultaneously push the time resolution and the frequency range of transient reflectivity measurements up to an unprecedented level that enables us to directly observe the 16 fs build-up of the effective electron-boson interaction in hole-doped copper oxides. This extremely fast timescale is in agreement with numerical calculations based on the t-J model and the repulsive Hubbard model, in which the relaxation of the photo-excited charges is achieved via inelastic scattering with short-range antiferromagnetic excitations.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Nature Physics
  • Andrea Perucchi · Lisa Vaccari · Stefano Lupi
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    ABSTRACT: Today, most of the Synchrotron Radiation (SR) facilities offer a port dedicated to Infrared spectroscopy and microspectroscopy exploiting the high brilliance gain of Infrared Synchrotron Radiation (IRSR) with respect to laboratorybased infrared sources. In this chapter, we review the main figures of merits of IRSR along with its main applications in Condensed Matter Physics, Biology, and Cultural Heritage.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015