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

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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.

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  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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