As doping increases in cuprate superconductors, the superconducting transition temperature increases to a maximum at the so-called optimal doping, and then decreases in the overdoped regime. In the past few decades, research has primarily focused on the underdoped and optimally doped regions of the phase diagram. Here, phenomena such as the pseudogap and strange metal non-superconducting states make it difficult to determine the superconducting pairing mechanism. More recently, experiments have shown unconventional behaviour in strongly overdoped cuprates, in both the normal and superconducting states. However, a real-space investigation of the unconventional superconductivity in the absence of the pseudogap is lacking, and the superconductor-to-metal phase transition in the overdoped regime remains controversial. Here we use scanning tunnelling microscopy to investigate the atomic-scale electronic structure of overdoped Bi2Sr2Can − 1CunO2n + 4 + δ cuprates. We show that, at low energies, the spectroscopic maps are well described by dispersive d-wave quasiparticle interference patterns. However, as the bias increases to the superconducting coherence peak energy, a periodic and non-dispersive pattern emerges. The position of the coherence peaks exhibits particle–hole asymmetry that modulates with the same period. We propose that this behaviour is due to quasiparticle interference caused by pair-breaking scattering between flat antinodal Bogoliubov bands.
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The data used to support the findings of this work are available from the corresponding author upon request. Source data are provided with this paper.
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We thank T. K. Lee, T. Li, Q. H. Wang, Z. Y. Weng and T. Xiang for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the Basic Science Center Project of NSFC under grant no. 51788104, the MOST of China (grants nos. 2017YFA0302900 and 2016YFA0300300), NSFC grants nos. 11888101 and 11534007, and the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB25000000). D.-H.L. was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, contract no. DE-AC02-05-CH11231 within the Quantum Materials Program (KC2202). D.-H.L. also acknowledges support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s EPIC initiative (grant no. GBMF4545). This work is supported in part by the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Future Chip (ICFC) and the Tencent Foundation.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Zou, C., Hao, Z., Luo, X. et al. Particle–hole asymmetric superconducting coherence peaks in overdoped cuprates. Nat. Phys. 18, 551–557 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-022-01534-x