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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Charge density wave memory in a cuprate superconductor.

  • Author(s): Chen, XM
  • Mazzoli, C
  • Cao, Y
  • Thampy, V
  • Barbour, AM
  • Hu, W
  • Lu, M
  • Assefa, TA
  • Miao, H
  • Fabbris, G
  • Gu, GD
  • Tranquada, JM
  • Dean, MPM
  • Wilkins, SB
  • Robinson, IK
  • et al.

Although CDW correlations are a ubiquitous feature of the superconducting cuprates, their disparate properties suggest a crucial role for pinning the CDW to the lattice. Here, we report coherent resonant X-ray speckle correlation analysis, which directly determines the reproducibility of CDW domain patterns in La1.875Ba0.125CuO4 (LBCO 1/8) with thermal cycling. While CDW order is only observed below 54 K, where a structural phase transition creates inequivalent Cu-O bonds, we discover remarkably reproducible CDW domain memory upon repeated cycling to far higher temperatures. That memory is only lost on cycling to 240(3) K, which recovers the four-fold symmetry of the CuO2 planes. We infer that the structural features that develop below 240 K determine the CDW pinning landscape below 54 K. This opens a view into the complex coupling between charge and lattice degrees of freedom in superconducting cuprates.

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