It has been technically challenging to concurrently probe the electrons and the lattices in materials during nonequilibrium processes, allowing their correlations to be determined. Here, in a single set of ultrafast electron diffraction patterns taken on the charge-density-wave (CDW) material 1T-TaSeTe, we discover a temporal shift in the diffraction intensity measurements as a function of scattering angle. With the help of dynamic models and theoretical calculations, we show that the ultrafast electrons probe both the valence-electron and lattice dynamic processes, resulting in the temporal shift measurements. Our results demonstrate unambiguously that the CDW is not merely a result of the periodic lattice deformation ever present in 1T-TaSeTe but has significant electronic origin. This method demonstrates an approach for studying many quantum effects that arise from electron-lattice dephasing in molecules and crystals for next-generation devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics