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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 29;111(30):E3026-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1406297111. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Direct phase-sensitive identification of a d-form factor density wave in underdoped cuprates.

Author information

  • 1Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973;Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;Department of Physics, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan;
  • 2Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973;Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;
  • 3Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland;
  • 4Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973;
  • 5RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan;
  • 6Materials and Structures Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Kanagawa 226-8503, Japan;
  • 7Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan;
  • 8Department of Physics, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan;RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan;Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany;
  • 9Nanoelectronics Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan;
  • 10Department of Physics, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan;
  • 11Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138;
  • 12Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;Department of Physics and Astronomy, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 13902; and.
  • 13Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;
  • 14Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138;Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 2Y5.
  • 15Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973;Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland; jcseamusdavis@gmail.com.

Abstract

The identity of the fundamental broken symmetry (if any) in the underdoped cuprates is unresolved. However, evidence has been accumulating that this state may be an unconventional density wave. Here we carry out site-specific measurements within each CuO2 unit cell, segregating the results into three separate electronic structure images containing only the Cu sites [Cu(r)] and only the x/y axis O sites [Ox(r) and O(y)(r)]. Phase-resolved Fourier analysis reveals directly that the modulations in the O(x)(r) and O(y)(r) sublattice images consistently exhibit a relative phase of π. We confirm this discovery on two highly distinct cuprate compounds, ruling out tunnel matrix-element and materials-specific systematics. These observations demonstrate by direct sublattice phase-resolved visualization that the density wave found in underdoped cuprates consists of modulations of the intraunit-cell states that exhibit a predominantly d-symmetry form factor.

KEYWORDS:

CuO2 pseudogap; broken symmetry; density-wave form factor

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