Thermal transport to the rescue

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Science  09 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6415, pp. 652-653
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6415.652-f

The pseudogap phase in cuprate superconductors remains one of the most puzzling aspects of these materials. To shed light on the nature of the pseudogap, Michon et al. studied thermal transport in the cuprate La1.6-xNd0.4SrxCuO4. By applying magnetic fields high enough to destroy superconductivity and approaching absolute zero temperature, the researchers found that the thermal and charge transport in the pseudogap phase were locked in step. This indicates that the ground state of the nonsuperconducting pseudogap phase has the character of a conventional metal. Comparison to the data at zero field further suggests that applying magnetic fields does not affect some of the signatures of the pseudogap phase.

Phys. Rev. X 8, 041010 (2018).

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