Electron-Phonon Anomaly Related to Charge Stripes: Static Stripe Phase Versus Optimally Doped Superconducting La1.85Sr0.15CuO4
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Inelastic neutron scattering was used to study the Cu-O bond-stretching vibrations in optimally doped La1.85Sr0.15CuO4 (Tc = 35 K) and in two other cuprates showing static stripe order at low temperatures, i.e., La1.48Nd0.4Sr0.12CuO4 and La1.875Ba0.125CuO4. All three compounds exhibit a very similar phonon anomaly, which is not predicted by conventional band theory. It is argued that the phonon anomaly reflects a coupling to charge inhomogeneities in the form of stripes, which remain dynamic in superconducting La1.85Sr0.15CuO4 down to the lowest temperatures. These results show that the phonon effect indicating stripe formation is not restricted to a narrow region of the phase diagram around the so-called 1/8 anomaly but occurs in optimally doped samples as well.
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