Unusual behavior of cuprates explained by heterogeneous charge localization

D. Pelc, P. Popčević, M. Požek, M. Greven, N. Barišić

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The discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates ranks among the major scientific milestones of the past half century, yet pivotal questions regarding the complex phase diagram of these materials remain unanswered. Generally thought of as doped charge-transfer insulators, these complex oxides exhibit pseudogap, strange-metal, superconducting, and Fermi liquid behavior with increasing hole-dopant concentration. Motivated by recent experimental observations, here we introduce a phenomenological model wherein exactly one hole per planar copper-oxygen unit is delocalized with increasing doping and temperature. The model is percolative in nature, with parameters that are highly consistent with experiments. It comprehensively captures key unconventional experimental results, including the temperature and the doping dependence of the pseudogap phenomenon, the strange-metal linear temperature dependence of the planar resistivity, and the doping dependence of the superfluid density. The success and simplicity of the model greatly demystify the cuprate phase diagram and point to a local superconducting pairing mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaau4538
JournalScience Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
N.B. is grateful to the late S. Barišić for extensive discussions. We wish to acknowledge J. M. Tranquada and G. Yu for helpful comments on the manuscript. D.P. and M.P. acknowledge funding by the Croatian Science Foundation under grant no. IP-2018-01-2970. P.P. acknowledges funding by the Croatian Science Foundation under grant no. IP-2016-06-7258. The work at the University of Minnesota was funded by the Department of Energy through the University of Minnesota Center for Quantum Materials under DE-SC-0016371. The work at the TU Wien was supported by FWF project P27980-N36 and the European Research Council (ERC Consolidator Grant no. 725521).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 The Authors.


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