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Title: Scattering interference signature of a pair density wave state in the cuprate pseudogap phase
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 2 more » O 8 pseudogap phase. « less
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Nature Communications
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National Science Foundation
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  1. The defining characteristic of hole-doped cuprates is d -wave high temperature superconductivity. However, intense theoretical interest is now focused on whether a pair density wave state (PDW) could coexist with cuprate superconductivity [D. F. Agterberg et al., Annu. Rev. Condens. Matter Phys. 11, 231 (2020)]. Here, we use a strong-coupling mean-field theory of cuprates, to model the atomic-scale electronic structure of an eight-unit-cell periodic, d -symmetry form factor, pair density wave (PDW) state coexisting with d -wave superconductivity (DSC). From this PDW + DSC model, the atomically resolved density of Bogoliubov quasiparticle states N r , E is predicted at the terminal BiO surface of Bi 2 Sr 2 CaCu 2 O 8 and compared with high-precision electronic visualization experiments using spectroscopic imaging scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The PDW + DSC model predictions include the intraunit-cell structure and periodic modulations of N r , E , the modulations of the coherence peak energy Δ p r , and the characteristics of Bogoliubov quasiparticle interference in scattering-wavevector space q - space . Consistency between all these predictions and the corresponding experiments indicates that lightly hole-doped Bi 2 Sr 2 CaCu 2 O 8 does contain a PDW + DSC state. Moreover,more »in the model the PDW + DSC state becomes unstable to a pure DSC state at a critical hole density p *, with empirically equivalent phenomena occurring in the experiments. All these results are consistent with a picture in which the cuprate translational symmetry-breaking state is a PDW, the observed charge modulations are its consequence, the antinodal pseudogap is that of the PDW state, and the cuprate critical point at p * ≈ 19% occurs due to disappearance of this PDW.« less
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