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J Phys Condens Matter. 2014 Dec 17;26(50):505701. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/26/50/505701. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

Pseudogap in cuprates in the loop-current ordered state.

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Department of Physics, University of California, 900 University Ave, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) has revealed that the magnitude of the pseudo-gap in under-doped cuprates varies spatially and is correlated with disorder. The loop-current order, characterized by the anapole vector Ω, discovered in under-doped cuprates occurs in the same region of the temperature and doping as the pseudo gap observed in STM and ARPES experiments. Since translational symmetry remains unchanged in the pure limit, no gap occurs at the chemical potential. On the other hand for disorder coupling linearly to the different possible orientations of Ω, there can only be a finite temperature dependent static correlation length for the loop-current state at any temperature. This leads to formation of domains of the ordered state with different orientation and magnitude of Ω in each. For the characteristic size of the domains much larger than the Fermi-vectors [Formula: see text], the boundary of the domains leads to forward scattering of the Fermions. Such forward scattering is shown to push states near the chemical potential to energies both above and below it leading to a pseudo-gap with an angular dependence which is maximum in the [Formula: see text] directions because the single-particle energies are degenerate in these directions for all domains. The magnitude of the average gap systematically increases with the square of the average loop order parameter measured by polarized neutron scattering. This result is tested. A unique result of the gap due to forward scattering is the lack of a bump in the density of states at the 'edge' of the pseudo-gap so that the depletion of states near the chemical potential is recovered only in integration up to the edge of the band. This is also in agreement with a variety of experiments. Some predictions for further experiments are provided. Due to the finite correlation length, low frequency excitations are expected at long wavelength at all temperatures in the 'ordered' phase. Such fluctuations motionally average over the shifts in frequencies of local probes such as NMR and muon resonance expected for a truly static order.

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