Evidence for a vestigial nematic state in the cuprate pseudogap phase
The CuO 2 antiferromagnetic insulator is transformed by hole-doping into an exotic quantum fluid usually referred to as the pseudogap (PG) phase. Its defining characteristic is a strong suppression of the electronic density-of-states D ( E ) for energies | E | < Δ * , where Δ * is the PG energy. Unanticipated broken-symmetry phases have been detected by a wide variety of techniques in the PG regime, most significantly a finite- Q density-wave (DW) state and a Q = 0 nematic (NE) state. Sublattice-phase-resolved imaging of electronic structure allows the doping and energy dependence of these distinct broken-symmetry states to be visualized simultaneously. Using this approach, we show that even though their reported ordering temperatures T DW and T NE are unrelated to each other, both the DW and NE states always exhibit their maximum spectral intensity at the same energy, and using independent measurements that this is the PG energy Δ * . Moreover, no new energy-gap opening coincides with the appearance of the DW state (which should theoretically open an energy gap on the Fermi surface), while the observed PG opening coincides with the appearance of the NE state (which should theoretically be incapable of opening more »
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10146293
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume:
116
Issue:
27
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
13249 to 13254
ISSN:
0027-8424
2. Abstract An unidentified quantum fluid designated the pseudogap (PG) phase is produced by electron-density depletion in the CuO 2 antiferromagnetic insulator. Current theories suggest that the PG phase may be a pair density wave (PDW) state characterized by a spatially modulating density of electron pairs. Such a state should exhibit a periodically modulating energy gap $${\Delta }_{{{{{{\rm{P}}}}}}}({{{{{\boldsymbol{r}}}}}})$$ Δ P ( r ) in real-space, and a characteristic quasiparticle scattering interference (QPI) signature $${\Lambda }_{{{{{{\rm{P}}}}}}}({{{{{\boldsymbol{q}}}}}})$$ Λ P ( q ) in wavevector space. By studying strongly underdoped Bi 2 Sr 2 CaDyCu 2 O 8 at hole-density ~0.08 in the superconductive phase, we detect the 8 a 0 -periodic $${\Delta }_{{{{{{\rm{P}}}}}}}({{{{{\boldsymbol{r}}}}}})$$ Δ P ( r ) modulations signifying a PDW coexisting with superconductivity. Then, by visualizing the temperature dependence of this electronic structure from the superconducting into the pseudogap phase, we find the evolution of the scattering interference signature $$\Lambda ({{{{{\boldsymbol{q}}}}}})$$ Λ ( q ) that is predicted specifically for the temperature dependence of an 8 a 0 -periodic PDW. These observations are consistent with theory for the transition from a PDW state coexisting with d -wave superconductivity to a pure PDW state in the Bi 2 Sr 2 CaDyCu 2more »