Spatially inhomogeneous competition between superconductivity and the charge density wave in YBa2Cu3O6.67

J. Choi, O. Ivashko, E. Blackburn, R. Liang, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy, A. T. Holmes, N. B. Christensen, M. Hücker, S. Gerber, O. Gutowski, U. Rütt, M. v. Zimmermann, E. M. Forgan, S. M. Hayden, J. Chang

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The charge density wave in the high-temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3O7−x (YBCO) has two different ordering tendencies differentiated by their c-axis correlations. These correspond to ferro- (F-CDW) and antiferro- (AF-CDW) couplings between CDWs in neighbouring CuO2 bilayers. This discovery has prompted several fundamental questions: how does superconductivity adjust to two competing orders and are either of these orders responsible for the electronic reconstruction? Here we use x-ray diffraction to study YBa2Cu3O6.67 as a function of magnetic field and temperature. We show that regions with F-CDW correlations suppress superconductivity more strongly than those with AF-CDW correlations. This implies that an inhomogeneous superconducting state exists, in which some regions show a fragile form of superconductivity. By comparison of F-CDW and AF-CDW correlation lengths, it is concluded that F-CDW ordering is sufficiently long-range to modify the electronic structure. Our study thus suggests that F-CDW correlations impact both the superconducting and normal state properties of YBCO.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2020


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