Long-range order and pinning of charge-density waves in competition with superconductivity

Yosef Caplan, Gideon Wachtel, Dror Orgad

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24 Scopus citations


Recent experiments show that charge-density-wave correlations are prevalent in underdoped cuprate superconductors. The correlations are short ranged at weak magnetic fields but their intensity and spatial extent increase rapidly at low temperatures beyond a crossover field. Here we consider the possibility of long-range charge-density-wave order in a model of a layered system where such order competes with superconductivity. We show that in the clean limit, low-temperature long-range order is stabilized by arbitrarily weak magnetic fields. This apparent discrepancy with the experiments is resolved by the presence of disorder. Like the field, disorder nucleates halos of charge-density wave, but unlike the former it also disrupts interhalo coherence, leading to a correlation length that is always finite. Our results are compatible with various experimental trends, including the onset of longer range correlations induced by interlayer coupling above a characteristic field scale.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number224504
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - 4 Dec 2015

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© 2015 American Physical Society.


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