Electronic liquid crystal physics of underdoped cuprates

Eun Ah Kim, Michael J. Lawler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recent observations of broken symmetries have partly demystified the pseudogap phase. Here we review evidence for long-range intra-unit-cell (IUC) nematic order and its unexpectedly strong coupling to the phase of the fluctuating stripes in the pseudogap states of underdoped Bi 2Sr 2CaCu 2O 8+δ. In particular, we focus on the analysis techniques that reveal this evidence in scanning tunneling spectroscopy data, the definition of the extracted IUC nematic order parameter, and a phenomenological theory of the coupling between the IUC nematic order and the previously reported coexisting fluctuating stripes. We also present a microscopic mechanism of IUC nematic order driven by on-site and near-neighbor repulsions. Finally we discuss open questions in the context of these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its Applications
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E.-A.K. acknowledges the support from the NSF Grant DMR-1120296 to the Cornell Center for Materials Research, and from the NSF CAREER Grant DMR-0955822.


  • Cuprate
  • Electronic liquid crystal
  • Nematic
  • Pseudogap
  • Stripe


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