SUPERCONDUCTIVITY: Nematicity in stripe-ordered cuprates probed via resonant x-ray scattering

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In underdoped cuprate superconductors, a rich competition occurs between superconductivity and charge density wave (CDW) order. Whether rotational symmetry-breaking (nematicity) occurs intrinsically and generically or as a consequence of other orders is under debate. Here, we employ resonant x-ray scattering in stripe-ordered superconductors (La,M)2CuO4 to probe the relationship between electronic nematicity of the Cu 3dorbitals, structure of the (La,M)2O2 layers, and CDW order. We find distinct temperature dependences for the structure of the (La,M)2O2 layers and the electronic nematicity of the CuO2 planes, with only the latter being enhanced by the onset of CDW order. These results identify electronic nematicity as an order parameter that is distinct from a purely structural order parameter in underdoped striped cuprates.

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