"Spectroscopic fingerprint of charge order melting driven by quantum fluctuations in a cuprate"

W. S. Lee: Ke-Jin J. Zhou, M. Hepting, J. Li, A. Nag, A. C. Walters, M. Garcia-Fernandez, H. C. Robarts, M. Hashimoto, H. Lu, B. Nosarzewski, D. Song, H. Eisaki, Z. X. Shen, B. Moritz, J. Zaanen & T. P. Devereaux; Nature Physics, 08/31/20.

Additional Authors: Ke-Jin J. Zhou, M. Hepting, J. Li, A. Nag, A. C. Walters, M. Garcia-Fernandez, H. C. Robarts, M. Hashimoto, H. Lu, B. Nosarzewski, D. Song, H. Eisaki, Z. X. Shen, B. Moritz, J. Zaanen & T. P. Devereaux

Abstract:

Copper oxide high-TC superconductors possess a number of exotic orders that coexist with or are proximal to superconductivity. Quantum fluctuations associated with these orders may account for the unusual characteristics of the normal state, and possibly affect the superconductivity1,2,3,4. Yet, spectroscopic evidence for such quantum fluctuations remains elusive. Here, we use resonant inelastic X-ray scattering to reveal spectroscopic evidence of fluctuations associated with a charge order5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 in nearly optimally doped Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ. In the superconducting state, while the quasielastic charge order signal decreases with temperature, the interplay between charge order fluctuations and bond-stretching phonons in the form of a Fano-like interference increases, an observation that is incompatible with expectations for competing orders. Invoking general principles, we argue that this behaviour reflects the properties of a dissipative system near an order–disorder quantum critical point, where the dissipation varies with the opening of the pseudogap and superconducting gap at low temperatures, leading to the proliferation of quantum critical fluctuations, which melt charge order.