Pseudogap phase of cuprate superconductors confined by Fermi surface topology

N. Doiron-Leyraud*, O. Cyr-Choinière, S. Badoux, A. Ataei, C. Collignon, A. Gourgout, S. Dufour-Beauséjour, F. F. Tafti, F. Laliberté, M. E. Boulanger, M. Matusiak, D. Graf, M. Kim, J. S. Zhou, N. Momono, T. Kurosawa, H. Takagi, Louis Taillefer

*Corresponding author for this work

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

50 Citations (Scopus)


The properties of cuprate high-temperature superconductors are largely shaped by competing phases whose nature is often a mystery. Chiefly among them is the pseudogap phase, which sets in at a doping p* that is material-dependent. What determines p* is currently an open question. Here we show that the pseudogap cannot open on an electron-like Fermi surface, and can only exist below the doping pFS at which the large Fermi surface goes from hole-like to electron-like, so that p* ≤ pFS. We derive this result from high-magnetic-field transport measurements in La1.6−xNd0.4SrxCuO4 under pressure, which reveal a large and unexpected shift of p* with pressure, driven by a corresponding shift in pFS. This necessary condition for pseudogap formation, imposed by details of the Fermi surface, is a strong constraint for theories of the pseudogap phase. Our finding that p* can be tuned with a modest pressure opens a new route for experimental studies of the pseudogap.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2044
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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