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Nonlinear lattice dynamics as a basis for enhanced superconductivity in YBa2Cu3O6.5

MPS-Authors
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Mankowsky,  Roman
Quantum Condensed Matter Dynamics, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
University of Hamburg;
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL);

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Subedi,  Alaska
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL);
Theory of Complex Materials, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Centre de Physique Théorique, École Polytechnique, CNRS;

/persons/resource/persons133775

Först,  Michael
Quantum Condensed Matter Dynamics, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL);

/persons/resource/persons133811

Cavalleri,  Andrea
Quantum Condensed Matter Dynamics, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
University of Hamburg;
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL);
Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory;

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1405.2266.pdf
(Preprint), 6MB

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Citation

Mankowsky, R., Subedi, A., Först, M., Mariager, S. O., Chollet, M., Lemke, H. T., et al. (2014). Nonlinear lattice dynamics as a basis for enhanced superconductivity in YBa2Cu3O6.5. Nature, 516(7529), 71-73. doi:10.1038/nature13875.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-BE57-7
Abstract
Terahertz-frequency optical pulses can resonantly drive selected vibrational modes in solids and deform their crystal structures. In complex oxides, this method has been used to melt electronic order, drive insulator-to-metal transitions and induce superconductivity. Strikingly, coherent interlayer transport strongly reminiscent of superconductivity can be transiently induced up to room temperature (300 kelvin) in YBa2Cu3O6+x. Here we report the crystal structure of this exotic non-equilibrium state, determined by femtosecond X-ray diffraction and ab initio density functional theory calculations. We find that nonlinear lattice excitation in normal-state YBa2Cu3O6+x at above the transition temperature of 52 kelvin causes a simultaneous increase and decrease in the Cu–O2 intra-bilayer and, respectively, inter-bilayer distances, accompanied by anisotropic changes in the in-plane O–Cu–O bond buckling. Density functional theory calculations indicate that these motions cause drastic changes in the electronic structure. Among these, the enhancement in the dx2-y2 character of the in-plane electronic structure is likely to favour superconductivity.