The correlated polar semimetal Ca3Ru2O7 exhibits a rich phase diagram including two magnetic transitions (TN=56 K and TC=48 K) with the appearance of an insulating-like pseudogap (at TC). In addition, there is a crossover back to metallic behavior at T∗=30 K, the origin of which is still under debate. We utilized ultrafast optical-pump optical-probe spectroscopy to investigate quasiparticle dynamics as a function of temperature in this enigmatic quantum material. We identify two dynamical processes, both of which are influenced by the onset of the pseudogap. This includes electron-phonon relaxation and, below TC, the onset of a phonon bottleneck hindering the relaxation of quasiparticles across the pseudogap. We introduce a gap-modified twoerature model to describe the temperature dependence of electron-phonon thermalization, and use the Rothwarf-Taylor to model the phonon bottleneck. In conjunction with density functional theory, our experimental results synergistically reveal the origin of the T-dependent pseudogap. Further, our data and analysis indicate that T∗ emerges as a natural consequence of T-dependent gapping out of carriers, and does not correspond to a separate electronic transition. Our results highlight the value of low-fluence ultrafast optics as a sensitive probe of low-energy electronic structure, thermodynamic parameters, and transport properties of Ruddlesden-Popper ruthenates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics