Spin fluctuations in YBa2 Cu3 O6.6

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Abstract

An important feature of the high-transition-temperature (high-Tc) copper oxide superconductors is the magnetism that results from the spins associated with the incomplete outer electronic shells (3d [9]) of the copper ions. Fluctuations of these spins give rise to magnetic excitations of the material, and might mediate the electron pairing that leads to superconductivity. If the mechanism for high- Tc superconductivity is the same for all copper oxide systems, their spin fluctuations should be universal. But so far, the opposite has seemed to be the case: neutron scattering data reveal clear differences between the spin fluctuations for two major classes of high-Tc materials, La2-x Srx CuO4[1-3] and YBa2 Cu3 O7-x[4-6], whose respective building blocks are CuO2 layers and bilayers. Here we report two-dimensional neutron-scattering imaging of YBa2 Cu3 O6.6, which reveals that the low-frequency magnetic excitations are virtually identical to those of similarly doped La2-x Srx CuO4. Thus, the high-temperature (Tc

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