Charge-stripe order has recently been established as an important aspect of cuprate high-Tc superconductors. However, owing to the complex interplay between competing phases and the influence of disorder, it is unclear how it emerges from the parent high-temperature state. Here we report on the discovery of an unconventional ordered phase between charge-stripe order and (pseudogapped) metal in the cuprate La1.8-xEu0.2SrxCuO4. We use three complementary experiments-nuclear quadrupole resonance, nonlinear conductivity and specific heat-to demonstrate that the order appears through a sharp phase transition and exists in a dome-shaped region of the phase diagram. Our results imply that the new phase is a state, which preserves translational symmetry: a charge nematic. We thus resolve the process of charge-stripe development in cuprates, show that this nematic phase is distinct from high-temperature pseudogap and establish a link with other strongly correlated electronic materials with prominent nematic order.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
D.P., M.V. and M.P. acknowledge funding by the Croatian Science Foundation under grant number IP-11-2013-2729 and S.-H.B. acknowledges support by the DFG Research Grant Number BA 4927/1-1.
© 2016 The Author(s).
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