High-transition-temperature superconductivity in the absence of the magnetic-resonance mode
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The fundamental mechanism that gives rise to high-transition-temperature (high-T(c)) superconductivity in the copper oxide materials has been debated since the discovery of the phenomenon. Recent work has focused on a sharp 'kink' in the kinetic energy spectra of the electrons as a possible signature of the force that creates the superconducting state. The kink has been related to a magnetic resonance and also to phonons. Here we report that infrared spectra of Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+delta (Bi-2212), shows that this sharp feature can be separated from a broad background and, interestingly, weakens with doping before disappearing completely at a critical doping level of 0.23 holes per copper atom. Superconductivity is still strong in terms of the transition temperature at this doping (T(c) approximately 55 K), so our results rule out both the magnetic resonance peak and phonons as the principal cause of high-T(c) superconductivity. The broad background, on the other hand, is a universal property of the copper-oxygen plane and provides a good candidate signature of the 'glue' that binds the electrons.
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