Evolution of Charge Order Topology Across a Magnetic Phase Transition in Cuprate Superconductors

Mingu Kang, Jonathan Pelliciari, Alex Frano, Nicholas P. Breznay, Enrico Schierle, Eugen Weschke, Ronny Sutarto, Yuwei He, Padraic Shafer, Elke Arenholz, Mo Chen, Keto Zhang, Alejandro Ruiz, Zeyu Hao, Sylvia Lewin, James Analytis, Yoshiharu Krockenberger, Hideki Yamamoto, Kausik Das, and Riccardo Comin

Nature Physics 15 (2019) 335–340


Charge order is now accepted as an integral constituent of cuprate high-temperature superconductors, one that is intimately related to other electronic instabilities including anti-ferromagnetism and superconductivity. Unlike conventional Peierls density waves, the charge correlations in cuprates have been predicted to display a rich momentum space topology depending on the underlying fermiology. However, charge order has only been observed along the high-symmetry Cu–O bond directions. Here, using resonant soft X-ray scattering, we investigate the evolution of the full momentum space topology of charge correlations in \( T’-\mathrm{(Nd,Pr)_2 CuO_4} \) as a function of electron doping. We report that, when the parent Mott insulator is doped, charge correlations first emerge with full rotational symmetry in momentum space, indicating glassy charge density modulation in real space possibly seeded by local defects. At higher doping levels, the orientation of charge correlations is locked to the Cu–O bond directions, restoring a more conventional long-ranged bidirectional charge order. Through charge susceptibility calculations, we reproduce the evolution in topology of charge correlations across the antiferromagnetic phase boundary and propose a revised phase diagram of \( T’-\mathrm{Ln_2 CuO_4} \) with a superconducting region extending toward the Mott limit.