Letter abstract

Nature Physics 3, 311 - 314 (2007)
Published online: 18 March 2007 | doi:10.1038/nphys563

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Materials physics

Low-temperature vortex liquid in La2-xSrxCuO4

Lu Li1, J. G. Checkelsky1, Seiki Komiya2, Yoichi Ando2 & N. P. Ong1


In copper oxide superconductors, the lightly doped (small dopant concentration, x) region is of major interest1, 2 because superconductivity, antiferromagnetism and the pseudogap state come together near a critical doping value, xc. But the way in which superconductivity is destroyed as x is decreased at very low temperatures, T, is not clear3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Does the pair condensate vanish abruptly at a critical value, xc? Or is phase coherence of the condensate destroyed by spontaneous vortices—as is the case at elevated T (refs 8, 9, 10)? So far, magnetization data at low T are very sparse in this region of the phase diagram. Here, we report torque magnetometry measurements on La2-xSrxCuO4, which show that, in zero magnetic field, quantum phase fluctuations destroy superconductivity at xcapproximately0.055. The phase-disordered condensate survives to x=0.03. In finite field H, the vortex solid-to-liquid transition occurs at H lower than the depairing field, Hc2. The resulting phase diagram reveals the large fraction of the xH plane occupied by the quantum vortex liquid.

  1. Department of Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA
  2. Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Komae, Tokyo 201-8511, Japan

Correspondence to: Lu Li1 e-mail: luli@princeton.edu

Correspondence to: N. P. Ong1 e-mail: npo@princeton.edu


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