Rapid change of superconductivity and electron-phonon coupling through critical doping in Bi-2212

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Science  05 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6410, pp. 62-65
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3394

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Conspiring interactions in a cuprate

More than 30 years after the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in copper oxides, its mechanism remains a mystery. Electron pairing mediated solely by lattice vibrations—phonons—is thought to be insufficient to account for the high transition temperatures. He et al. found a rapid and correlated increase of the superconducting gap and electron-phonon interactions as the chemical composition of their bismuth-based cuprate samples was varied across a critical doping concentration. The interplay of electron-phonon with electron-electron interactions may lead to enhanced transition temperatures.

Science, this issue p. 62


Electron-boson coupling plays a key role in superconductivity for many systems. However, in copper-based high–critical temperature (Tc) superconductors, its relation to superconductivity remains controversial despite strong spectroscopic fingerprints. In this study, we used angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy to find a pronounced correlation between the superconducting gap and the bosonic coupling strength near the Brillouin zone boundary in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ. The bosonic coupling strength rapidly increases from the overdoped Fermi liquid regime to the optimally doped strange metal, concomitant with the quadrupled superconducting gap and the doubled gap-to-Tc ratio across the pseudogap boundary. This synchronized lattice and electronic response suggests that the effects of electronic interaction and the electron-phonon coupling (EPC) reinforce each other in a positive-feedback loop upon entering the strange-metal regime, which in turn drives a stronger superconductivity.

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