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Eric Hudson - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stability in a Turbulent (Fermi) Sea : The Ever More Remarkable High Temperature Superconductors

Attention jour et heure inhabituels !


For over two decades high temperature superconductivity has captured the
attention of scientists the world round. However, rather than finding a simple explanation for the properties of these materials, as was done for
their low temperature cousins half a century ago, intensive research has
instead led to an increasingly complex picture of materials characterized by
an intricate phase diagram, full of competing or coexisting states, yet still dominated by a superconducting state which persists, at least in some
materials, almost half way to room temperature.


In this talk I will describe nanoscale investigations of the electronic structure of high temperature superconductors using scanning tunneling
microscopy (STM). We have recently found that a still not understood high
temperature phase in these materials, the pseudogap, is characterized by
strong charge inhomogeneity. Surprisingly, although this disorder persists
into the superconducting state, it does not seem to perturb coexisting
homogeneous superconductivity. The resolution of this apparent contradiction gives new insight into the onset of superconductivity and its relationship with the pseudogap phase.


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