Using time-resolved resonant soft x-ray diffraction, we measure the evolution of the full three-dimensional scattering volume of the antiferromagnetic superlattice reflection in the single-layer manganite La0.5Sr1.5MnO4 on femtosecond time scales following photoexcitation. We find that the in-plane correlations are unchanged as a metastable state is entered, however there are subtle changes in the c-axis correlations. We observe a transient shift of the scattering ellipsoid along (00L) at very short times, and at longer time scales the short-range c-axis correlations are more robust than they are in equilibrium. Such results are not obtainable with any other techniques and hint at previously unresolved processes in the dynamics of photomelting in strongly correlated systems.
The original publication is available by link DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.86.064425