Orbital symmetry of charge-density-wave order in La1.875Ba0.125CuO4 and YBa2Cu3O6.67


Recent theories of charge-density-wave (CDW) order in high-temperature superconductors have predicted a primarily d CDW orbital symmetry. Here, we report on the orbital symmetry of CDW order in the canonical cuprate superconductors La1.875Ba0.125CuO4 (LBCO) and YBa2Cu3O6.67 (YBCO), using resonant soft X-ray scattering and a model mapped to the CDW orbital symmetry. From measurements sensitive to the O sublattice, we conclude that LBCO has predominantly s′ CDW orbital symmetry, in contrast to the d orbital symmetry recently reported in other cuprates. Furthermore, we show for YBCO that the CDW orbital symmetry differs along the a and b crystal axes and that these both differ from LBCO. This work highlights CDW orbital symmetry as an additional key property that distinguishes the different cuprate families. We discuss how the CDW symmetry may be related to the ‘1/8–anomaly’ and to static spin ordering.

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Figure 1: Scattering geometry and schematics of CDW order.
Figure 2: Resonant scattering from CDW order on the O and Cu sublattices of LBCO.
Figure 3: Cu sublattice scattering in YBCO.
Figure 4: Photon energy dependence of scattering from O and O sublattices.


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The authors acknowledge insightful discussions with S. Sachdev, J. C. Davis, W. A. Atkinson, G. A. Sawatzky, R. Comin and A. Damascelli. This work was supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Research described in this paper was performed at the Canadian Light Source, which is funded by the CFI, the NSERC, the National Research Council Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan, Western Economic Diversification Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan. J.G. and M.Z. were supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG) through the Emmy-Noether (GE1647/2-1) and the D-A-CH programme (GE 1647/3-1). The work at Brookhaven National Labs was supported by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Science and Engineering, US Department of Energy, under Contract No. DE-AC02-98CH10886.

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A.J.A. and D.G.H. analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. D.G.H., A.J.A., J.G. and M.H. conceived of the experiments that A.J.A., F.H., R.S., C.M., M.Z. and D.G.H. performed. M.H., J.G. and G.D.G. provided the LBCO crystals and R.L., D.A.B. and W.N.H. provided the YBCO crystal.

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Correspondence to D. G. Hawthorn.

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Achkar, A., He, F., Sutarto, R. et al. Orbital symmetry of charge-density-wave order in La1.875Ba0.125CuO4 and YBa2Cu3O6.67. Nature Mater 15, 616–620 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat4568

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