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Visualizing Complex Electronic Quantum Matter

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I will describe the development of low temperature Wavefunction Imaging STM techniques for transition metal oxides. They allow us to visualize the Complex Electronic Quantum Matter in such systems, directly at the Atomic Scale. As an example, we will visually explore the strange and beautiful nanoscale electronic structure of High-Tc Superconductivity. This amazing phenomenon emerges when localized electrons of a CuO2 antiferromagnetic Mott-insulator become itinerant due to carrier-doping. Atomic scale visualization of both this process and its consequences for high-Tc superconductivity, are new frontiers in the study of this 20 year old mystery. One of the most startling discoveries was the intense Superconducting Pair Energy Disorder [1] at nanoscale. Another was strong scattering and quantum-mixing of delocalized states producing beautiful Quantum Interference Patterns [2]. Yet another was spontaneous electronic reorganization into Nanoscale Checkerboard States inside vortex cores [3] and at very low doping [4]. Individual impurity atom mapping techniques [5] are now revealing how individual dopant atoms [6] generate these unprecedented forms of nanoscale electronic disorder. Finally, I will describe our new technique for visualizing Atomic Scale Electron-Lattice Interactions [7] and its consequences for identification of the mechanism of high-Tc superconductivity.

[1] Nature 413 282 (2001); Nature 415 412 (2002). [2] Science 297 1148 (2002); Nature 422 592 (2003). [3] Science 266 455 (2002). [4] Nature 430 1001 (2004) [5] Nature 403 746 (2000); Nature 411 920 (2001). [6] Science 309 1048 (2005). [7] Jinho Lee et al, Submitted to Nature.

This talk is part of the Cavendish Physical Society series.

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