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Disordered charge modulations in cuprates : good for high-Tc ?

Andrej Mesaros, Cornell University

Electronic spatial charge modulations (CM) have been recently established as integral to the phase diagram of high-transition-temperature (high-Tc) cuprate superconductors. It is not yet understood if CM are involved in establishing high-Tc superconductivity, or are detrimental to it. The answer hinges on determining, in face of disorder, the relationship between periodicities of electronic CM and underlying lattice. Here we determine that CM are commensurate in the entire pseudogap region of Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8 phase diagram. We introduce a general analysis that exploits phase-sensitive measurements to find the periodicity of inhomogeneous modulations, and apply it to spectroscopic-imaging scanning tunneling microscope images. The found commensurability points towards a strong coupling perspective on electrons, likely implying cooperation with superconductivity. The phase-sensitive analysis questions the sufficiency of common analysis approaches to inhomogeneous density waves.

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