Optically driven Mott-Hubbard systems out of thermodynamic equilibrium



We consider the Hubbard model at half filling, driven by an external, stationary laser field. This stationary, but periodic in time, electromagnetic field couples to the charge current, i.e. it induces an extra contribution to the hopping amplitude in the Hubbard Hamiltonian (photo-induced hopping). We generalize the dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT) for nonequilibrium with periodic-in-time external fields, using a Floquet mode representation and the Keldysh formalism. We calculate the non-equilibrium electron distribution function, the density of states and the optical DC conductivity in the presence of the external laser field for laser frequencies above and below the Mott-Hubbard gap. The results demonstrate that the system exhibits an insulator-metal transition as the frequency of the external field is increased and exceeds the Mott-Hubbard gap. This corresponds to photo-induced excitations into the upper Hubbard band.