Spectroscopic Imaging STM Studies of Electronic Structure in Both the Superconducting and Pseudogap Phases of Underdoped Cuprates

K. Fujita, A. R. Schmidt, E. A. Kim, M. J. Lawler, H. Eisaki, S. Uchida, J. C. Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A motivation for the development of atomically resolved spectroscopic imaging STM (SISTM) has been to study the broken symmetries in the electronic structure of cuprate high temperature superconductors. Both the d-wave superconducting (dSC) and the pseudogap (PG) phases of underdoped cuprates exhibit two distinct classes of electronic states when studied using SI-STM. The class consists of the dispersive Bogoliubov quasiparticles of a homogeneous d-wave superconductor. These signature are detected below a lower energy scale |E| = D0 and only upon a momentum space (k-space) arc which terminates near the lines connecting k = ±(p/a0, 0) to k = ±(0.,p/a0). This 'nodal' arc shrinks continuously with decreasing hole density. In both the dSC and PG phases, the only broken symmetries detected in the |E|≤D0 states are those of a d-wave superconductor. The second class of states occurs at energies near the pseudogap energy scale |E|~.D1 can be associated with the 'antinodal' states near k = ±(p/a0,0) and k = ±(0.,p/a0). These states break the expected 90°-rotational (C4) symmetry of electronic structure within CuO2 unit cells, at least down to 180°-rotational (C2) symmetry (nematic) but in a spatially disordered fashion. This intra-unit-cell C4 symmetry breaking coexists at |E|~.D1 with incommensurate conductance modulations locally breaking both rotational and translational symmetries (smectic). Empirically, the characteristic wavevector Q of the latter is determined by the k-space points where Bogoliubov quasiparticle interference terminates and therefore evolves continuously with doping. The properties of these two classes of |E|~.D1 states are indistinguishable in the dSC and PG phases. To explain these two regimes of k-space that are distinguished by the symmetries of their electronic states and their energy scales |E|~D1 and |E|≤D0, and to understand their relationship to the electronic phase diagram and the mechanism of high- Tc superconductivity, represent key challenges for cuprate studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConductor-Insulator Quantum Phase Transitions
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191741050
ISBN (Print)9780199592593
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Vladimir Dobrosavljevic, Nandini Trivedi & James M. Valles, Jr., 2012. All rights reserved.


  • Broken spatial symmetry
  • Cuprate superconductivity
  • Electronic structure
  • Pseudogap states
  • Spectroscopic imaging stm


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