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It has been proposed that the pseudogap state of underdoped cuprate superconductors may be due to a transition to a phase which has circulating currents within each unit cell. Here, we use polarized neutron diffraction to search for the corresponding orbital moments in two samples of underdoped YBa2Cu3O6+x with doping levels p=0.104 and 0.123. In contrast to some other reports using polarized neutrons, but in agreement with nuclear magnetic resonance and muon spin rotation measurements, we find no evidence for the appearance of magnetic order below 300K. Thus, our experiment suggests that such order is not an intrinsic property of high-quality cuprate superconductor single crystals. Our results provide an upper bound for a possible orbital loop moment which depends on the pattern of currents within the unit cell. For example, for the CC-θII pattern proposed by Varma, we find that the ordered moment per current loop is less than 0.013μB for p=0.104.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Physical Review B|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Dec 2017|
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Electronic Nematic Phases in Correlated Electron Systems.
22/06/12 → 22/06/16