The Origin of Tc Enhancement in Heterostructure Cuprate Superconductors.
ABSTRACT: Recent experiments on heterostructures composed of two or more films of cuprate superconductors of different oxygen doping levels have shown a remarkable Tc enhancement (up to 50%) relative to single compound films. We provide a simple explanation of the enhancement which arises naturally from a collection of experimental works. We show that the enhancement could be caused by a structural change in the lattice, namely an increase in the distance of the apical oxygen from the copper-oxygen plane. This increase modifies the effective off-site interaction in the plane which in turn enhances the d-wave superconductivity order parameter. To illustrate this point we study the extended Hubbard model using the fluctuation exchange approximation.
Project description:Universal scaling laws can guide the understanding of new phenomena, and for cuprate high-temperature superconductivity the influential Uemura relation showed, early on, that the maximum critical temperature of superconductivity correlates with the density of the superfluid measured at low temperatures. Here we show that the charge content of the bonding orbitals of copper and oxygen in the ubiquitous CuO2 plane, measured with nuclear magnetic resonance, reproduces this scaling. The charge transfer of the nominal copper hole to planar oxygen sets the maximum critical temperature. A three-dimensional phase diagram in terms of the charge content at copper as well as oxygen is introduced, which has the different cuprate families sorted with respect to their maximum critical temperature. We suggest that the critical temperature could be raised substantially if one were able to synthesize materials that lead to an increased planar oxygen hole content at the expense of that of planar copper.
Project description:In the quest to increase the critical temperature Tc of cuprate superconductors, it is essential to identify the factors that limit the strength of superconductivity. The upper critical field Hc2 is a fundamental measure of that strength, yet there is no agreement on its magnitude and doping dependence in cuprate superconductors. Here we show that the thermal conductivity can be used to directly detect Hc2 in the cuprates YBa2Cu3Oy, YBa2Cu4O8 and Tl2Ba2CuO6+?, allowing us to map out Hc2 across the doping phase diagram. It exhibits two peaks, each located at a critical point where the Fermi surface of YBa2Cu3Oy is known to undergo a transformation. Below the higher critical point, the condensation energy, obtained directly from Hc2, suffers a sudden 20-fold collapse. This reveals that phase competition-associated with Fermi-surface reconstruction and charge-density-wave order-is a key limiting factor in the superconductivity of cuprates.
Project description:Using the generalized gradient approximation augmented with maximally localized Wannier functions analysis, we present the formation of cuprate-like electronic structures in Ag(II)F2-related superlattices resulted from the confinement together with structural chemical modification. The out-of-plane electronic reconstruction leads to electron doping of AgF2 plane and gradually destablizes the antiferromagnetic state. Eventually a stable nonmagnetic metallic state emerges by applying in-plane tensile strain, in which the shape of effective Fermi surface of AgF2 plane exhibits the key feature of high-temperature cuprate superconductor.
Project description:The origin of pairing in a superconductor resides in the underlying normal state. In the cuprate high-temperature superconductor YBa(2)Cu(3)O(y) (YBCO), application of a magnetic field to suppress superconductivity reveals a ground state that appears to break the translational symmetry of the lattice, pointing to some density-wave order. Here we use a comparative study of thermoelectric transport in the cuprates YBCO and La(1.8-x)Eu(0.2)Sr(x)CuO(4) (Eu-LSCO) to show that the two materials exhibit the same process of Fermi-surface reconstruction as a function of temperature and doping. The fact that in Eu-LSCO this reconstruction coexists with spin and charge modulations that break translational symmetry shows that stripe order is the generic non-superconducting ground state of hole-doped cuprates.
Project description:The parent compound of high-[Formula: see text] superconducting cuprates is a unique Mott insulator consisting of layers of spin-[Formula: see text] ions forming a square lattice and with a record high in-plane antiferromagnetic coupling. Compounds with similar characteristics have long been searched for without success. Here, we use a combination of experimental and theoretical tools to show that commercial [Formula: see text] is an excellent cuprate analog with remarkably similar electronic parameters to [Formula: see text] but larger buckling of planes. Two-magnon Raman scattering and inelastic neutron scattering reveal a superexchange constant reaching 70% of that of a typical cuprate. We argue that structures that reduce or eliminate the buckling of the [Formula: see text] planes could have an antiferromagnetic coupling that matches or surpasses the cuprates.
Project description:The properties of cuprate high-temperature superconductors are largely shaped by competing phases whose nature is often a mystery. Chiefly among them is the pseudogap phase, which sets in at a doping p* that is material-dependent. What determines p* is currently an open question. Here we show that the pseudogap cannot open on an electron-like Fermi surface, and can only exist below the doping p FS at which the large Fermi surface goes from hole-like to electron-like, so that p*???p FS. We derive this result from high-magnetic-field transport measurements in La1.6-x Nd0.4Sr x CuO4 under pressure, which reveal a large and unexpected shift of p* with pressure, driven by a corresponding shift in p FS. This necessary condition for pseudogap formation, imposed by details of the Fermi surface, is a strong constraint for theories of the pseudogap phase. Our finding that p* can be tuned with a modest pressure opens a new route for experimental studies of the pseudogap.
Project description:Many theoretical models of high-temperature superconductivity focus only on the doping dependence of the CuO(2)-plane electronic structure. However, such models are manifestly insufficient to explain the strong variations in superconducting critical temperature, T(c), among cuprates that have identical hole density but are crystallographically different outside of the CuO(2) plane. A key challenge, therefore, has been to identify a predominant out-of-plane influence controlling the superconductivity, with much attention focusing on the distance d(A) between the apical oxygen and the planar copper atom. Here we report direct determination of how variations in interatomic distances within individual crystalline unit cells affect the superconducting energy-gap maximum Delta of Bi(2)Sr(2)CaCu(2)O(8+delta). In this material, quasiperiodic variations of unit cell geometry occur in the form of a bulk crystalline "supermodulation." Within each supermodulation period, we find approximately 9 +/- 1% cosinusoidal variation in local Delta that is anticorrelated with the associated d(A) variations. Furthermore, we show that phenomenological consistency would exist between these effects and the random Delta variations found near dopant atoms if the primary effect of the interstitial dopant atom is to displace the apical oxygen so as to diminish d(A) or tilt the CuO(5) pyramid. Thus, we reveal a strong, nonrandom out-of-plane effect on cuprate superconductivity at atomic scale.
Project description:A major challenge in understanding the cuprate superconductors is to clarify the nature of the fundamental electronic correlations that lead to the pseudogap phenomenon. Here we use ultrashort light pulses to prepare a non-thermal distribution of excitations and capture novel properties that are hidden at equilibrium. Using a broadband (0.5-2?eV) probe, we are able to track the dynamics of the dielectric function and unveil an anomalous decrease in the scattering rate of the charge carriers in a pseudogap-like region of the temperature (T) and hole-doping (p) phase diagram. In this region, delimited by a well-defined T*neq(p) line, the photoexcitation process triggers the evolution of antinodal excitations from gapped (localized) to delocalized quasiparticles characterized by a longer lifetime. The novel concept of photo-enhanced antinodal conductivity is naturally explained within the single-band Hubbard model, in which the short-range Coulomb repulsion leads to a k-space differentiation between nodal quasiparticles and antinodal excitations.
Project description:The relationship between the cuprate pseudogap (?(p)) and superconducting gap (?(s)) remains an unsolved mystery. Here, we present a temperature- and doping-dependent tunneling study of submicron Bi(2)Sr(2)CaCu(2)O(8+?) intrinsic Josephson junctions, which provides a clear evidence that ?(s) closes at a temperature T(c) (0) well above the superconducting transition temperature T(c) but far below the pseudogap opening temperature T*. We show that the superconducting pairing first occurs predominantly on a limited Fermi surface near the node below T(c) (0), accompanied by a Fermi arc due to the lifetime effects of quasiparticles and Cooper pairs. The arc length has a linear temperature dependence, and as temperature decreases below T(c) it reduces to zero while pairing spreads to the antinodal region of the pseudogap leading to a d-wave superconducting gap on the entire Fermi surface at lower temperatures.
Project description:One of the most puzzling problems of high temperature cuprate superconductor is the pseudogap phase (PG) at temperatures above the superconducting transition temperature in the underdoped regime. The PG phase is found by the angle-resolved photoemission spectra (ARPES) to have a gap at some regions in momentum space and a fraction of Fermi surface remained, known as Fermi arcs. The arc turns into a d-wave SC gap with a node below the SC transition temperature. Here, by studying a strongly correlated model at low temperatures, we obtained a phase characterized by two kinds of pairing order parameters with the total momentum of the Cooper pair to be zero and finite. The finite momentum pairing is accompanied with a spatial modulation of pairing order, i.e. a pair density wave (PDW). These PDW phases are intertwined with modulations of charge density and intra-unit cell form factors. The coexistence of the two different pairing orders provides the unique two-gaps like spectra observed by ARPES for superconducting cuprates. As temperature raises, the zero-momentum pairing order vanishes while the finite momentum pairing orders are kept, thus Fermi arcs are realized. The calculated quasiparticle spectra have the similar doping and temperature dependence as reported by ARPES and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS). The consequence of breaking symmetry between x and y due to the unidirectional PDW and the possibility to probe such a PDW state in the PG phase is discussed.