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Nature. 2016 Aug 18;536(7616):309-11. doi: 10.1038/nature19061.

Dependence of the critical temperature in overdoped copper oxides on superfluid density.

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Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973-5000, USA.
Applied Physics Department, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The physics of underdoped copper oxide superconductors, including the pseudogap, spin and charge ordering and their relation to superconductivity, is intensely debated. The overdoped copper oxides are perceived as simpler, with strongly correlated fermion physics evolving smoothly into the conventional Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer behaviour. Pioneering studies on a few overdoped samples indicated that the superfluid density was much lower than expected, but this was attributed to pair-breaking, disorder and phase separation. Here we report the way in which the magnetic penetration depth and the phase stiffness depend on temperature and doping by investigating the entire overdoped side of the La2-xSrxCuO4 phase diagram. We measured the absolute values of the magnetic penetration depth and the phase stiffness to an accuracy of one per cent in thousands of samples; the large statistics reveal clear trends and intrinsic properties. The films are homogeneous; variations in the critical superconducting temperature within a film are very small (less than one kelvin). At every level of doping the phase stiffness decreases linearly with temperature. The dependence of the zero-temperature phase stiffness on the critical superconducting temperature is generally linear, but with an offset; however, close to the origin this dependence becomes parabolic. This scaling law is incompatible with the standard Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer description.


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