Visualization of the interplay between high-temperature superconductivity, the pseudogap and impurity resonances

Kamalesh Chatterjee, M. C. Boyer, W. D. Wise, Takeshi Kondo, T. Takeuchi, H. Ikuta, E. W. Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In conventional superconductors, the superconducting gap in the electronic excitation spectrum prevents scattering of low-energy electrons. In high-temperature superconductors (HTSs), an extra gap, the pseudogap, develops well above the superconducting transition temperature T(C). Here, we present a new avenue of investigating the pseudogap state, using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) of resonances generated by single-atom scatterers. Previous studies on the superconducting state of HTSs have led to a fairly consistent picture in which potential scatterers, such as Zn, strongly suppress superconductivity in an atomic-scale region, while generating low-energy excitations with a spatial distributionas imaged by STMindicative of the d-wave nature of the superconducting gap. Surprisingly, we find that similar native impurity resonances coexist spatially with the superconducting gap at low temperatures and survive virtually unchanged on warming through T(C). These findings demonstrate that properties of impurity resonances in HTSs are not determined by the nature of the superconducting state, as previously suggested, but instead provide new insights into the pseudogap state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-111
Number of pages4
JournalNature Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 21 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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