Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers observe charge-stripe crystal phase in an insulating cuprate

18.12.2018

Heating the surface of cuprate high-temperature superconductor yields insulating state

Researchers from Boston College and Brookhaven National Laboratory have succeeded in modifying a cuprate high-temperature superconductor material into an insulating state, where they found an exotic liquid crystal phase.


Scanning tunneling microscopy was used to analyze a cuperate high-temperature superconductor modified into an insulating state by a team of researchers from Boston College and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Credit: Nature Materials

The observation of a so-called "charge-stripe" crystal phase was the first of its kind in the cuprate, part of a class of materials referred to as Mott insulators, the team reports today in the journal Nature Materials.

The absence of free charge carriers denotes the material as "undoped." The process of doping introduces charge carriers and theorists have held that when doped, a cuprate would see the charge carriers order and form liquid crystal phases marked by periodic "charge-stripe" patterns. Such patterns have thus far only been experimentally observed in the superconducting state, said lead author Boston College Assistant Professor of Physics Iilja Zeljkovic.

Zeljkovic and the team, which included members of his lab, Boston College Professor of Physics Ziqiang Wang, and researchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, used a new methodology to induce the charge ordering in the insulating state, they report in the article, titled "Charge-Stripe Crystal Phase in an Insulating Cuprate."

The team applied a method of surface annealing, a head treatment used to alter the physical and chemical properties of metals, Zeljkovic said. The process allowed the team to extend the accessible doping range in the cuprate, composed of bismuth, strontium, calcium, copper and oxygen.

Accessing new regions of the material, the team achieved a "lightly doped, charge-transfer insulator state," Zeljkovic said.

The team analyzed the insulating state at the atomic level using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy at liquid helium temperatures.

"Our measurements reveal the emergence of a unidirectional charge-stripe order with a wave-length of exactly 4 atomic lattice constants," Zeljkovic said. "Our data also proves that lightly-doped cuprates have a tendency to form stripes over the bidirectional 'checkerboard' order, thus resolving the long-standing controversy in the field that could not be settled using the existing data on higher-doped samples."

Zeljkovic said he and his colleagues would like to next explore the relationship of the observed charge ordered phase and the charge ordered phases observed in the superconducting state.

The discovery raises the question of whether the "spin" of charge carriers also orders into periodic patterns, forming so-called spin-density waves, Zeljkovic said.

Media Contact

Ed Hayward
ed.hayward@bc.edu
617-552-4826

 @BostonCollege

http://www.bc.edu 

Ed Hayward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41563-018-0243-x

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials
18.01.2019 | University of Sheffield

nachricht Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics
17.01.2019 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>