Research Article

Absence of a Spin Gap in the Superconducting Ladder Compound Sr2Ca12Cu24O41

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Science  16 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5349, pp. 345-348
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5349.345

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Abstract

Transport and copper-63 nuclear magnetic resonance measurements of the Knight shift and relaxation time T 1performed on the two-leg spin ladders of Sr2Ca12Cu24O41single crystals as a function of pressure show a collapse of the gap in ladder spin excitations when superconductivity is stabilized at 31 kilobars. This result suggests that the superconducting phase in these materials may be connected to this transition and the collapse of the spin gap, and support the prediction made with exact diagonalization techniques in two-leg isotropic tJ ladder models of a transition between a low-doping spin gap phase and a gapless regime.

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