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Competing stripe and magnetic phases in the cuprates from first principles

Authors: Yubo Zhanga, Christopher Lane, James W. Furness, Bernardo Barbiellini, John P. Perdew, Robert S. Markiewicz, Arun Bansil and Jianwei Suna

Abstract: Realistic description of competing phases in complex quantum materials has proven extremely challenging. For example, much of the existing density-functional-theory-based first-principles framework fails in the cuprate superconductors. Various many-body approaches involve generic model Hamiltonians and do not account for the interplay between the spin, charge, and lattice degrees of freedom. Here, by deploying the recently constructed strongly constrained and appropriately normed (SCAN) density functional, we show how the landscape of competing stripe and magnetic phasescanbeaddressedonafirst-principlesbasisbothintheparent insulator YBa2Cu3O6 and the near-optimally doped YBa2Cu3O7 as archetype cuprate compounds. In YBa2Cu3O7, we find many stripe phases that are nearly degenerate with the ground state and may give rise to the pseudogap state from which the high-temperature superconducting state emerges. We invoke no free parameters such as the Hubbard U, which has been the basis of much of the existing cuprate literature. Lattice degrees of freedom are found to be crucially important in stabilizing the various phases.

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