Charge Variations in Cuprate Superconductors from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
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Charge inhomogeneities in the cuprates were reported early on and have been in the focus of much research recently. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is very sensitive to local charge symmetry through the electric quadrupole interaction that must detect any static charge density variation. Recent experiments in high magnetic fields that seem to induce charge density waves in some systems have rekindled the interest in static inhomogeneities. It has long been known that excessive NMR linewidths can be observed in all cuprates, but with the exception of a few materials. However, the relation of the quadrupolar linewidths with respect to variations of the charge density in the cuprates is not understood. Here, we investigate YBa2Cu3O7 and we find even in a moderate magnetic field that below about 200 K, i.e., well above T c, a temperature dependent NMR linewidth appears that must be related to incipient static charge density variations. We argue that this establishes field induced charge density variation as a more general phenomenon in the cuprates. In view of the very recent understanding of the relation between the hole distribution in the CuO2 plane and T c, it is argued that charge density variations are ubiquitous, but appear not related to the maximum T c.
KeywordsCuprates Charge density NMR Inhomogeneity
We acknowledge the financial support from the University of Leipzig and the European Social Fund (ESF). We thank G.V.M. Williams, J. Kohlrautz, and D. Rybicki for helpful discussions.
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