, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 757-765
Date: 29 Jan 2010

Spectroscopic Evidence for Competing Order-Induced Pseudogap Phenomena and Unconventional Low-Energy Excitations in High-T c Cuprate Superconductors

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The low-energy excitations of cuprate superconductors exhibit various characteristics that differ from those of simple Bogoliubov quasiparticles for pure \(d_{x^{2}-y^{2}}\) -wave superconductors. Here, we report experimental studies of spatially resolved quasiparticle tunneling spectra of hole- and electron-type cuprate superconductors that manifest direct evidences for the presence of competing orders (COs) in the cuprates. In contrast to conventional type-II superconductors that exhibit enhanced local density of states (LDOS) peaking at zero energy near the center of field-induced vortices, the vortex-state LDOS of YBa2Cu3O7−δ (Y-123) and La0.1Sr0.9CuO2 (La-112) remains suppressed inside the vortex core, with pseudogap (PG)-like features at an energy larger (smaller) than the superconducting (SC) gap ΔSC in Y-123 (La-112). Energy histograms of the SC and PG features reveal steady spectral shifts from SC to PG with increasing magnetic field H. These findings may be explained by coexisting COs and SC: For hole-type cuprates with PG above T c, the primary CO gap (V CO) is larger than ΔSC and the corresponding COs are charge/pair-density waves with wave-vectors parallel to (π,0)/(0,π). For electron-type cuprates without PG above T c, V CO is smaller than ΔSC and the CO wave-vector is along (π,π). This CO scenario may be extended to the ARPES data to consistently account for the presence (absence) of Fermi arcs in hole- (electron)-type cuprates. Fourier transformation of the vortex-state LDOS in Y-123 further reveals multiple sets of energy-independent wave-vectors due to field-enhanced pair- and spin-density waves. These results imply important interplay of SC with low-energy collective excitations.