Anomalous Weak Magnetism in Superconducting YBa2Cu3O6+x

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Science  01 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5522, pp. 1692-1695
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060844

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For some time now, there has been considerable experimental and theoretical effort to understand the role of the normal-state “pseudogap” phase in underdoped high-temperature cuprate superconductors. Recent debate has centered on the question of whether the pseudogap is independent of superconductivity. We provide evidence from zero-field muon spin relaxation measurements in YBa2Cu3O6+x for the presence of small spontaneous static magnetic fields of electronic origin intimately related to the pseudogap transition. Our most significant finding is that, for optimal doping, these weak static magnetic fields appear well below the superconducting transition temperature. The two compositions measured suggest the existence of a quantum critical point somewhat above optimal doping.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jeff_sonier{at}

  • Present address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

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