Resonant soft X-ray scattering, stripe order, and the electron spectral function in cuprates

Peter Abbamonte, Eugene Demler, J. C. Séamus Davis, Juan Carlos Campuzano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We review the current state of efforts to use resonant soft X-ray scattering (RSXS), which is an elastic, momentum-resolved, valence band probe of strongly correlated electron systems, to study stripe-like phenomena in copper-oxide superconductors and related materials. We review the historical progress including RSXS studies of Wigner crystallization in spin ladder materials, stripe order in 214-phase nickelates, 214-phase cuprates, and other systems. One of the major outstanding issues in RSXS concerns its relationship to more established valence band probes, namely angle-resolved photoemission (ARPES) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). These techniques are widely understood as measuring a one-electron spectral function, yet a relationship between RSXS and a spectral function has so far been unclear. Using physical arguments that apply at the oxygen K edge, we show that RSXS measures the square modulus of an advanced version of the Green's function measured with STM. This indicates that, despite being a momentum space probe, RSXS is more closely related to STM than to ARPES techniques. Finally, we close with some discussion of the most promising future directions for RSXS. We will argue that the most promising area lies in high magnetic field studies, particularly of edge states in strongly correlated heterostructures, and the vortex state in superconducting cuprates, where RSXS may clarify the anomalous periodicities observed in recent quantum oscillation experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its applications
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Resonant X-ray scattering
  • Stripes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

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