In correlated oxides the coupling of quasiparticles to other degrees of freedom such as spin and lattice plays critical roles in the emergence of symmetry-breaking quantum ordered states such as high temperature superconductivity. We report a strong lattice coupling of photon-induced quasiparticles in spin-orbital coupling Mott insulator Sr 2 IrO 4 probed via optical excitation. Combining time-resolved X-ray diffraction and optical spectroscopy techniques, we reconstruct a spatiotemporal map of the diffusion of these quasiparticles. Due to the unique electronic configuration of the quasiparticles, the strong lattice correlation is unexpected but extends the similarity between Sr 2 IrO 4 and cuprates to a new dimension of electron-phonon coupling which persists under highly non-equilibrium conditions.
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