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Probing optically silent superfluid stripes in cuprates

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Science  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6375, pp. 575-579
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan3438

A nonlinear peek into stripes

In many theoretical models of high-temperature superconductors, remnants of superconductivity persist to temperatures higher than the transition temperature, TC. Rajasekaran et al. used nonlinear terahertz spectroscopy to probe this region of the phase diagram of a cuprate superconductor that is well known for a stripe phase that appears for certain doping levels (see the Perspective by Ergeçen and Gedik). For a sample deep in the stripe phase, a large nonlinear signal persisted from the superconducting region up to temperatures much higher than TC. The findings suggest the formation of a peculiar spatially modulated superconducting state called the pair-density wave.

Science, this issue p. 575; see also p. 519