A Four Unit Cell Periodic Pattern of Quasi-Particle States Surrounding Vortex Cores in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ

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Science  18 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5554, pp. 466-469
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066974

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Scanning tunneling microscopy is used to image the additional quasi-particle states generated by quantized vortices in the high critical temperature superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ. They exhibit a copper-oxygen bond–oriented “checkerboard” pattern, with four unit cell (4a 0) periodicity and a ∼30 angstrom decay length. These electronic modulations may be related to the magnetic field–induced, 8a 0periodic, spin density modulations with decay length of ∼70 angstroms recently discovered in La1.84Sr0.16CuO4. The proposed explanation is a spin density wave localized surrounding each vortex core. General theoretical principles predict that, in the cuprates, a localized spin modulation of wavelength λ should be associated with a corresponding electronic modulation of wavelength λ/2, in good agreement with our observations.

  • * Present address: Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139–4307, USA.

  • Present address: Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305–4060, USA.

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

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