The charge-density-wave (CDW) instability in the underdoped, pseudogap part of the cuprate phase diagram has been a major recent research focus, yet measurements of dynamic, energy-resolved charge correlations are still in their infancy. Such information is crucial in order to help discern the connection between CDW and pseudogap phenomena, and to understand the extent to which charge correlations in general shape the phase diagram. We report a resonant inelastic x-ray scattering study of the underdoped cuprate superconductor HgBa2CuO4+δ (Tc=70 K). At 250 K, above the previously established temperature TCDW≈200 K that signifies the onset of quasistatic short-range CDW order, we observe significant dynamic correlations that are broadly peaked at about 40 meV and centered at the two-dimensional wave vector qCDW. This energy scale is comparable to both the superconducting gap and the low-energy pseudogap. At 70 K, we observe a quasistatic CDW peak at qCDW, but the dynamic correlations around 40 meV remain virtually unchanged, and we identify a new feature: dynamic correlations well above the optic phonon range that are broadly peaked in the 150-200 meV range. A similar energy scale was previously identified in other experiments as a high-energy pseudogap. The observation of three distinct features in the charge response is highly unusual for a CDW system and suggests that charge order in the cuprates is complex. We demonstrate that other single-layer cuprates exhibit approximately the same relative strength of high- to low-temperature energy-integrated charge signal, which points to the universal existence of significant dynamic correlations. Intriguingly, the two energy scales identified here are also comparable to those of the superconducting glue function extracted from other spectroscopic techniques, consistent with a dual charge and magnetic nature of the pairing glue. We further determine the paramagnon dispersion along [1, 0], across qCDW, and find it to be consistent with magnetic excitations measured by inelastic neutron scattering. Unlike for some other cuprates, our result points to the absence of a discernible coupling between charge and magnetic excitations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the ESRF for the allocation of beam time at ID32, D. Pelc for extensive discussions, and N. Barišić, A. V. Chubukov, G. Ghiringhelli, J. Haase, M.-H. Julien, Yuan Li, D. Pelc, D. Reznik, and E. H. da Silva Neto for valuable comments on the manuscript. The work at University of Minnesota was funded by the Department of Energy through the University of Minnesota Center for Quantum Materials, under Grant No. DE-SC-0016371. The work at the TU Wien was supported by FWF Project No. P27980-N36 and the European Research Council (ERC Consolidator Grant No. 725521). I. B. was supported by the National Science Centre (NCN, Poland) under Grant No. UMO-2019/32/T/ST3/0019.
© 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.