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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Scaling of the strange-metal scattering in unconventional superconductors


Marked evolution of properties with minute changes in the doping level is a hallmark of the complex chemistry that governs copper oxide superconductivity as manifested in the celebrated superconducting domes and quantum criticality taking place at precise compositions1-4. The strange-metal state, in which the resistivity varies linearly with temperature, has emerged as a central feature in the normal state of copper oxide superconductors5-9. The ubiquity of this behaviour signals an intimate link between the scattering mechanism and superconductivity10-12. However, a clear quantitative picture of the correlation has been lacking. Here we report the observation of precise quantitative scaling laws among the superconducting transition temperature (Tc), the linear-in-T scattering coefficient (A1) and the doping level (x) in electron-doped copper oxide La2-xCexCuO4 (LCCO). High-resolution characterization of epitaxial composition-spread films, which encompass the entire overdoped range of LCCO, has enabled us to systematically map its structural and transport properties with unprecedented accuracy and with increments of Δx = 0.0015. We have uncovered the relations Tc ~ (xc - x)0.5 ~ (A1)0.5, where xc is the critical doping in which superconductivity disappears and A1 is the coefficient of the linear resistivity per CuO2 plane. The striking similarity of the Tc versus A1 relation among copper oxides, iron-based and organic superconductors may be an indication of a common mechanism of the strange-metal behaviour and unconventional superconductivity in these systems.

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