In underdoped cuprate superconductors, phase stiffness is low and long-range superconducting order is destroyed readily by thermally generated vortices (and anti-vortices), giving rise to a broad temperature regime above the zero-resistive state in which the superconducting phase is incoherent 1-4 . It has often been suggested that these vortex-like excitations are related to the normal-state pseudogap or some interaction between the pseudogap state and the superconducting state 5-10 . However, to elucidate the precise relationship between the pseudogap and superconductivity, it is important to establish whether this broad phase-fluctuation regime vanishes, along with the pseudogap 11 , in the slightly overdoped region of the phase diagram where the superfluid pair density and correlation energy are both maximal 12 . Here we show, by tracking the restoration of the normal-state magnetoresistance in overdoped La 2-x Sr x CuO 4 , that the phase-fluctuation regime remains broad across the entire superconducting composition range. The universal low phase stiffness is shown to be correlated with a low superfluid density 1 , a characteristic of both underdoped and overdoped cuprates 12-14 . The formation of the pseudogap, by inference, is therefore both independent of and distinct from superconductivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)