Monday, June 24, 2013

1306.5124 (Y. Sidis et al.)

Evidence for Intra-Unit-Cell magnetic order in the pseudo-gap state of
high-Tc cuprates

Y. Sidis, P. Bourges
The existence of the mysterious pseudo-gap state in the phase diagram of copper oxide superconductors and its interplay with unconventional {\it d-wave} superconductivity has been a long standing issue for more than a decade. There is now a growing number of experimental indications that the pseudo-gap phase actually corresponds to a symmetry breaking state. In his theory for cuprates, C. M. Varma proposes that the pseudo-gap is a new state of matter associated with the spontaneous appearance of circulating current loops within $\rm CuO_2$ unit cell. This intra-unit-cell order breaks time reversal symmetry, but preserves lattice translation invariance. Polarized elastic neutron scattering measurements provide evidence for an intra-unit-cell magnetic order inside the pseudo-gap state. This order could be produced by the orbital-like magnetic moments induced by the circulating current loops. The magnetic order displays the same characteristic features in $\rm HgBa_2CuO_{4+\delta}$, $\rm YBa_2Cu_3O_{6+x}$ and $\rm Bi_2Sr_2CaCu_2O_{8+\delta}$ demonstrating that this genuine phase is ubiquitous of the pseudo-gap of high temperature copper oxide materials. We review the main properties characterizing this intra-unit-cell magnetic order and discuss its interplay or competition with other spin and charge instabilities.
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