Angular Fluctuations of a Multi-Component Order Describe the Pseudogap Regime of the Cuprate Superconductors

March 21, 2014

Reprinted with permission from AAAS

The hole-doped cuprate high-temperature superconductors enter the pseudogap regime as their superconducting critical temperature, Tc, falls with decreasing hole density. Recent x-ray scattering experiments in YBa2Cu3O6+x observe incommensurate charge-density wave fluctuations whose strength rises gradually over a wide temperature range above Tc, but then decreases as the temperature is lowered below Tc. In a Report in Science, researchers from University of Waterloo, Perimeter Institute and Harvard, indluding Prof. Subir Sachdev, propose a theory in which the superconducting and charge-density wave orders exhibit angular fluctuations in a six-dimensional space. The theory provides a natural quantitative fit to the x-ray data and can be a basis for understanding other characteristics of the pseudogap, thus bringing scientists one step closer to developing high temperature superconductors.

See: L. E. Hayward, .G. Hawthorn, R. G. Melko, and, S. Sachdev, "Angular Fluctuations of a Multicomponent Order Describe the Pseudogap of YBa2Cu3O6+x," Science 343:6177 (21 March 2014) | DOI: 10.1126/science.1246310. See also: Press Release from the University of Waterloo.