Locating the Missing Superconducting Electrons in the Overdoped Cuprates La2-xSrxCuO4

Fahad Mahmood, Xi He, Ivan BoŽović, N. P. Armitage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Overdoped high-temperature cuprate superconductors have often been understood within the standard BCS framework of superconductivity. However, measurements in a variety of overdoped cuprates indicate that the superfluid density is much smaller than expected from BCS theory and decreases smoothly to zero as the doping is increased. Here, we combine time-domain THz spectroscopy with kHz range mutual inductance measurements on the same overdoped La2-xSrxCuO4 films to determine the total, superfluid, and uncondensed spectral weight as a function of doping. A significant fraction of the carriers remains uncondensed in a wide Drude-like peak as T→0, while the superfluid density remains linear in temperature. These observations are seemingly inconsistent with existing, realistic theories of impurity scattering suppressing the superfluid density in a BCS-like d-wave superconductor. Our large measurement frequency range gives us a unique look at the low frequency spectral weight distribution, which may suggest the presence of quantum phase fluctuations as the critical doping is approached.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number027003
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 16 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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