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Superconductivity and the c Axis Spectral Weight of High-Tc Superconductors

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Science  20 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5431, pp. 1241-1244
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5431.1241

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Abstract

The temperature dependence of the c axis spectral weight (frequency integral of the interplane conductivity) of high transition temperature (high-T c) superconductors is shown to be a probe of thermal and quantal fluctuations of the phase of the superconducting order parameter. The behavior of underdoped cuprates is shown to be a natural consequence of superconducting pairing without long-ranged phase coherence. Very underdoped cuprates are found to have strong phase fluctuations, even for temperatures much less than the transition temperature.

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