Phase transitions in the incoherent lattice fluctuations in YBa 2Cu3O7-δ

Abstract

The growing body of experimental evidence1,2,3,4,5,6,7 for the existence of complex textures of charges and spins in the high-temperature superconductors has drawn attention to the so-called ‘stripe-phase’ model8,9,10,11,12 as a possible basis for the mechanism of superconductivity in these materials. Such observations have until now been restricted to systems where the texture dynamics are slow or suppressed altogether, and do not include the important case of YBa2Cu 3O7-δ. It seems likely that the dynamic behaviour of stripes12,13, which has been suggested to undergo several phase transitions as a function of temperature12, should also be reflected in the lattice properties of the host materials, and this forms the motivation for our present experiments. Specifically, we use MeV helium ion channelling, an ultrafast real-space probe of atomic displacements (with sub-picometre resolution), to probe incoherent lattice fluctuations in YBa2Cu 3O7-δ as a function of temperature and oxygen doping. We detect lattice fluctuations that are larger than the expected thermal vibration component, and which show anomalies characteristic of the phase transitions anticipated for a dynamic stripe phase. Comparison of our lattice results with single-particle-tunnelling and photoemission data highlights the importance of spin–charge separation phenomena in the copper oxide superconductors.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Temperature dependence of atomic displacements for YBa2Cu 3O7- x (x ≈ 0.05 and 0.065).
Figure 2: Temperature dependence of excess atomic displacement in YBa2Cu 3O7-x.
Figure 3: Oxygen-doping dependence of phase transition or crossover temperatures.

References

  1. 1

    Tranquada,J. M. et al. Neutron-scattering study of stripe-phase order of holes and spins in La1.48Nd0.4Sr0.12CuO4. Phys. Rev. B 54, 7489– 7499 (1996).

  2. 2

    Cheong,S. -W. et al. Incommensurate magnetic fluctuations in La 2-xSrxCuO4. Phys. Rev. Lett. 67, 1791–1794 (1991).

  3. 3

    Borsa,F. et al. Staggered magnetization in La2-xSrxCuO 4 from 139La NQR and µSR: Effects of Sr doping in the range 0 <x<0.02. Phys. Rev. B 52, 7334– 7345 (1995).

  4. 4

    Tranquada,J. M., Sternlieb,B. J., Axe,J. D., Nakamura,Y. & Uchida,S. Evidence for stripe correlations of spins and holes in copper-oxide superconductors. Nature 375, 561–563 (1995).

  5. 5

    Dai,P. et al. The magnetic excitation spectrum and thermodynamics of high Tc superconductors. Science 284, 1344– 1347 (1999).

  6. 6

    Salkola,M., Emery,V. J. & Kivelson, S. A. Implications of charge ordering for single-particle properties of high-Tc superconductors. Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 155–158 (1996).

  7. 7

    Noda,T., Eisaki,H. & Uchida,S. Evidence for one-dimensional charge transport in La 2-x-yNdySrxCuO4. Science 286, 265 (1999).

  8. 8

    Zaanen,J. & Gunnarsson,O. Charged magnetic domain lines and the magnetism of high-Tc oxides. Phys. Rev. B 40 , 7391–7394 (1989).

  9. 9

    Emery,V. J., Kivelson,S. A. & Lin, H. Q. Phase separation in the t-J model. Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 475–478 ( 1990).

  10. 10

    Schulz,H. J. Incommensurate antiferromagnetism in the two-dimensional Hubbard model. Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 1445–1448 (1990).

  11. 11

    White,S. R. & Scalapino,D. J. Density matrix renormalization group study of the striped phase in the 2D t-J model. Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 1272–1275 ( 1998).

  12. 12

    Emery,V. J., Kivelson,S. A. & Zachar, O. Spin-gap proximity effect mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity. Phys. Rev. B 56, 6120 –6147 (1997).

  13. 13

    Zaanen,J., Horbach,M. L. & van Saarloos, W. Charged domain-wall dynamics in doped antiferromagnets and spin fluctuations in cuprate superconductors. Phys. Rev. B 53, 8671–8680 ( 1996).

  14. 14

    Batlogg,B. et al. Charge dynamics in (La,Sr)2CuO4—from underdoping to overdoping. J. Low Temp. Phys. 95, 23–31 (1994).

  15. 15

    Batlogg,B. & Emery,V. J. Superconductivity- Crossovers in cuprates. Nature 382, 20– 21 (1996).

  16. 16

    Homes,C. C., Timusk,T., Liang,R., Bonn,D. A. & Hardy,W. N. Optical conductivity of c-axis oriented YBa2Cu 3O6.70: Evidence for a pseudogap. Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 1645–1648 ( 1993).

  17. 17

    Warren,W. W. Jr et al. Cu spin dynamics and superconducting precursor effects in planes above Tc in YBa2Cu3O6. 7. Phys. Rev. Lett. 62, 1193–1196 (1989).

  18. 18

    Loeser,A. G. et al. Excitation gap in the normal state of underdoped Bi2 Sr2CaCu2O8+delta. Science 273, 325–329 ( 1996).

  19. 19

    Hauff,R., Tajima,S., Jang,W. J. & Rykov,A. I. Optical study on phonon anomalies and spin gap in YBa2(Cu1-xZn x)3O6.6. Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 4620–4623 (1996).

  20. 20

    Starykh,O. A., Zhitomirsky,M. E., Khomskii, D. I., Singh,R. R. P. & Ueda,K. Origin of spin gap in CaV4O 9: Effects of frustration and lattice distortions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 2558–2561 (1996).

  21. 21

    Bianconi,A. et al. Determination of the local lattice distortions in the CuO 2 plane of La1.85Sr0.15CuO4. Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 3412–3415 (1996).

  22. 22

    Hellberg & Manousakis. Stripes and the t-J Model. Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 132–135 ( 1999).

  23. 23

    Kataev,V., Rameev,B., Buchner,B., Hucker,M. & Borowski, R. Slow anti-ferromagnetic dynamics in the low-temperature tetragonal phase of La2-xSrxCuO4 as revealed by ESR of Gd spin probes. Phys. Rev. B 55, R3394–3397 (1997).

  24. 24

    Gemmell,D. S. Channeling and related effects in the motion of charged particles through crystals. Rev. Mod. Phys. 46, 129– 227 (1974).

  25. 25

    Lindhard,J. Influence of crystal lattice on motion of energetic charged particles. Mat. Fys. Medd. Dan. Vid. Selsk. 34, 1– 64 (1965).

  26. 26

    Barrett,J. H. Monte Carlo channeling calculations. Phys. Rev. B 3 , 1527–1547 (1971).

  27. 27

    Sharma,R. P. et al. Evidence for large static and dynamic distortions in high Tc superconducting YBa2Cu3O 7-delta crystals over a wide temperature range. Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 4624–4627 (1996).

  28. 28

    Mook,H. A. & Dogan,F. Charge fluctuations in YBa2Cu 3O7-x high-temperature superconductors. Nature 401, 145–147 ( 1999).

  29. 29

    Deutscher,G. Coherence and single-particle excitations in the high-temperature superconductors. Nature 397, 410–412 (1999).

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank R. L. Greene for reading of the manuscript and suggestions. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and Office of Naval Research at Maryland, by the state of Texas through the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, and the Department of Energy at Argonne.

Author information

Correspondence to T. Venkatesan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.