Diagonal nematicity in the pseudogap phase of HgBa2CuO4+δ

H. Murayama, Y. Sato, R. Kurihara, S. Kasahara, Y. Mizukami, Y. Kasahara, H. Uchiyama, A. Yamamoto, E. G. Moon, J. Cai, J. Freyermuth, M. Greven, T. Shibauchi, Y. Matsuda

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The pseudogap phenomenon in the cuprates is arguably the most mysterious puzzle in the field of high-temperature superconductivity. The tetragonal cuprate HgBa2CuO4+δ, with only one CuO2 layer per primitive cell, is an ideal system to tackle this puzzle. Here, we measure the magnetic susceptibility anisotropy within the CuO2 plane with exceptionally high-precision magnetic torque experiments. Our key finding is that a distinct two-fold in-plane anisotropy sets in below the pseudogap temperature T*, which provides thermodynamic evidence for a nematic phase transition with broken four-fold symmetry. Surprisingly, the nematic director orients along the diagonal direction of the CuO2 square lattice, in sharp contrast to the bond nematicity along the Cu-O-Cu direction. Another remarkable feature is that the enhancement of the diagonal nematicity with decreasing temperature is suppressed around the temperature at which short-range charge-density-wave formation occurs. Our result suggests a competing relationship between diagonal nematic and charge-density-wave order in HgBa2CuO4+δ.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3282
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Murayama, H., Sato, Y., Kurihara, R., Kasahara, S., Mizukami, Y., Kasahara, Y., Uchiyama, H., Yamamoto, A., Moon, E. G., Cai, J., Freyermuth, J., Greven, M., Shibauchi, T., & Matsuda, Y. (2019). Diagonal nematicity in the pseudogap phase of HgBa2CuO4+δ Nature Communications, 10(1), [3282]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11200-1