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Nature communications

Intra-unit-cell magnetic correlations near optimal doping in YBa2Cu3O6.85.


PMID 26138869

Abstract

The pseudo-gap phenomenon in copper oxide superconductors is central to any description of these materials as it prefigures the superconducting state itself. A magnetic intra-unit-cell order was found to occur just at the pseudo-gap temperature in four cuprate high-Tc superconducting families. Here we present polarized neutron-scattering measurements of nearly optimally doped YBa2Cu3O6.85, carried out on two different spectrometers, that reveal several features. The intra-unit-cell order consists of finite-sized planar domains that are very weakly correlated along the c axis. At high temperature, only the out-of-plane magnetic components correlate, indicating a strong Ising anisotropy. An aditional in-plane response develops at low temperature, giving rise to an apparent tilt of the magnetic moment. The discovery of these two regimes puts stringent constraints, which are tightly bound to the pseudo-gap physics, on the intrinsic nature of intra-unit-cell order.

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