Direct observation of competition between superconductivity and charge density wave order in YBa2Cu3O6.67

J. Chang, E. Blackburn, A. T. Holmes, N. B. Christensen, J. Larsen, J. Mesot, Ruixing Liang, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy, A. Watenphul, M. v. Zimmermann, E. M. Forgan, S. M. Hayden

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Superconductivity often emerges in the proximity of, or in competition with, symmetry breaking ground states such as antiferromagnetism or charge density waves (CDW)1-5. A number of materials in the cuprate family, which includes the high-transition-temperature (high-Tc) superconductors, show spin and charge density wave order5-7. Thus a fundamental question is to what extent these ordered states exist for compositions close to optimal for superconductivity. Here we use high-energy x-ray diffraction to show that a CDW develops at zero field in the normal state of superconducting YBa2Cu3O6.67 (Tc = 67 K). Below Tc, the application of a magnetic field suppresses superconductivity and enhances the CDW. Hence, the CDW and superconductivity are competing orders in this typical high-Tc superconductor, and high-Tc superconductivity can form from a pre-existing CDW state. Our results explain observations of small Fermi surface pockets8, negative Hall and Seebeck effect9,10 and the "Tc plateau"11 in this material when underdoped.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbernphys2456
Pages (from-to)871-876
Number of pages6
JournalNature Physics
Issue number12
Early online date14 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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  • Superconducting properties and materials


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