Reconciling the Magnetic and Electronic Properties of the Copper Oxide Superconductors


The cuprates are characterized by strong interactions between their electrons, which implies that their electronic and magnetic properties of the cuprates are intimately linked. Scientists interested in the electronic properties of the cuprates usually study cleavable cuprates such as Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+d giving us exquisitely detailed maps of its electronic states. Unfortunately, most work on the magnetic properties of the cuprates has been done on quite different cuprates and a direct comparison has not been possible.

This study measured the high-energy magnetic excitations in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+d for the first time. A surprising, dispersive, high-energy mode was discovered (top panel). Excellent agreement was found between the latter and theoretical predictions, in which the only input parameters are fixed by previous electronic structure measurements (bottom panel).

These results help provide a unified picture for the magnetic and electronic states in the cuprates. Such understanding is a significant step forward in our understanding of the cuprates and a vital prerequisite for future applications.


This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

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