"From a Single-Band Metal to a High-Temperature Superconductor via Two Thermal Phase Transitions"

Rui-Hua He: M. Hashimoto, H. Karapetyan, J. D. Koralek, J. P. Hinton, J. P. Testaud, V. Nathan, Y. Yoshida, Hong Yao, K. Tanaka, W. Meevasana, R. G. Moore, D. H. Lu, S.-K. Mo, M. Ishikado, H. Eisaki, Z. Hussain, T. P. Devereaux, S. A. Kivelson, J. Orenstein, A. Kapitulnik; Science, 03/25/11.

Additional Authors: M. Hashimoto, H. Karapetyan, J. D. Koralek, J. P. Hinton, J. P. Testaud, V. Nathan, Y. Yoshida, Hong Yao, K. Tanaka, W. Meevasana, R. G. Moore, D. H. Lu, S.-K. Mo, M. Ishikado, H. Eisaki, Z. Hussain, T. P. Devereaux, S. A. Kivelson, J. Orenstein, A. Kapitulnik

Abstract:

The nature of the pseudogap phase of cuprate high-temperature superconductors is a major unsolved problem in condensed matter physics. We studied the commencement of the pseudogap state at temperature T* using three different techniques (angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, polar Kerr effect, and time-resolved reflectivity) on the same optimally doped Bi2201 crystals. We observed the coincident, abrupt onset at T* of a particle-hole asymmetric antinodal gap in the electronic spectrum, a Kerr rotation in the reflected light polarization, and a change in the ultrafast relaxational dynamics, consistent with a phase transition. Upon further cooling, spectroscopic signatures of superconductivity begin to grow close to the superconducting transition temperature (Tc), entangled in an energy-momentum–dependent manner with the preexisting pseudogap features, ushering in a ground state with coexisting orders.