In the layered cuprate perovskites, the occurrence of high-temperature superconductivity seems deeply related to the unusual nature of the hole excitations. The limiting case of a very small number of holes diffusing in the antiferromagnetic (AF) background may provide important insights into this problem. We have investigated the transport properties in a series of crystals of YBa2Cu3Oy, and found that the temperature dependencies of the Hall coefficient RH and thermopower S change abruptly as soon as the AF phase boundary is crossed. In the AF state at low temperatures T, both RH and S are unexpectedly suppressed to nearly zero over a broad interval of T. We argue that this suppression arises from near-exact symmetry in the particle-hole currents. From the trends in RH and S, we infer that the symmetry is increasingly robust as the hole density x becomes very small (x ≃ 0.01). We discuss implications for electronic properties both within the AF state and outside.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Sep 25 2001|
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