Controlling the near-surface superfluid density in underdoped YBa2Cu3O6+x by photo-illumination
Hardy, Walter N.
Bonn, Doug A.
Kiefl, Robert F.
- Journal Article
The interaction with light weakens the superconducting ground state in classical superconductors. The situation in cuprate superconductors is more complicated: illumination increases the charge carrier density, a photo-induced effect that persists below room temperature. Furthermore, systematic investigations in underdoped YBa2Cu3O6+x (YBCO) have shown an enhanced critical temperature Tc. Until now, studies of photo-persistent conductivity (PPC) have been limited to investigations of structural and transport properties, as well as the onset of superconductivity. Here we show how changes in the magnetic screening profile of YBCO in the Meissner state due to PPC can be determined on a nanometer scale utilizing low-energy muons. The data obtained reveal a strongly increased superfluid density within the first few tens of nanometers from the sample surface. Our findings suggest a non-trivial modification of the near-surface band structure and give direct evidence that the superfluid density of YBCO can be controlled by light illumination. Show more
Journal / seriesScientific Reports
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
SubjectSuperconducting properties and materials; Surfaces, interfaces and thin films
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