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Science. 2002 Aug 16;297(5584):1148-51. Epub 2002 Jul 25.

Imaging quasiparticle interference in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+delta.

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Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7300, USA.


Scanning tunneling spectroscopy of the high-Tc superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+delta reveals weak, incommensurate, spatial modulations in the tunneling conductance. Images of these energy-dependent modulations are Fourier analyzed to yield the dispersion of their wavevectors. Comparison of the dispersions with photoemission spectroscopy data indicates that quasiparticle interference, due to elastic scattering between characteristic regions of momentum-space, provides a consistent explanation for the conductance modulations, without appeal to another order parameter. These results refocus attention on quasiparticle scattering processes as potential explanations for other incommensurate phenomena in the cuprates. The momentum-resolved tunneling spectroscopy demonstrated here also provides a new technique with which to study quasiparticles in correlated materials.

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