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Quantum oscillations in an overdoped high-Tc superconductor


The nature of the metallic phase in the high-transition-temperature (high-Tc) copper oxide superconductors, and its evolution with carrier concentration, has been a long-standing mystery1. A central question is how coherent electronic states, or quasiparticles, emerge from the antiferromagnetic insulator with doping. Recent quantum oscillation experiments on lightly doped copper oxides have shown evidence for small pockets of Fermi surface2,3,4,5, the formation of which has been associated with the opening of the pseudogap—an anisotropic gap in the normal state excitation spectrum of unknown origin1. As the doping is increased, experiments suggest that the full Fermi surface is restored6,7, although the doping level at which the pseudogap closes and the nature of the electronic ground state beyond this point have yet to be determined. Here we report the observation of quantum oscillations in the overdoped superconductor Tl2Ba2CuO6+δ that show the existence of a large Fermi surface of well-defined quasiparticles covering two-thirds of the Brillouin zone. These measurements confirm that, in overdoped superconducting copper oxides, coherence is established at all Fermi wavevectors, even near the zone boundary where the pseudogap is maximal and electronic interactions are strongest; they also firmly establish the applicability of a generalized Fermi-liquid picture on the overdoped side of the superconducting phase diagram.

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Figure 1: Quantum oscillations in Tl2201.
Figure 2: Features of the oscillation data.


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We acknowledge technical and scientific assistance from A. Audouard, M. Nardone, N. Shannon and D. C. Sinclair. This work was supported by EPSRC, LNCMP, the French ANR IceNET and EuroMagNET.

Author Contributions The crystals were grown by A.P.M. and screened by M.M.J.F. and N.E.H. The experiments were carried out by B.V., A.C., R.A.C., C.P., C.J., D.V. and N.E.H., and the analysis performed by B.V., A.C., M.M.J.F., C.P. and N.E.H.

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Correspondence to N. E. Hussey.

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Vignolle, B., Carrington, A., Cooper, R. et al. Quantum oscillations in an overdoped high-Tc superconductor. Nature 455, 952–955 (2008).

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