Kinks in the angle resolved photoemission and inelastic x-ray spectra of high temperature superconductors

Though the high superconducting transition temperature (Tc) is the most interesting technological aspect of high temperature superconductors, the complex way in which the spin, lattice and electronic degrees of freedom interplay, makes them of the highest scientific interest. This is illustrated by their rich phase diagram characterized by a variety of exotic groundstate including; Mott insulating, pseudogap and high temperature superconductivity. One of the most serious barriers that has prevented our understanding of the mechanism of high temperature superconductors thus far is the lack of information on how low energy Landau quasiparticles result from an organization of real particles. This organization, often colloquially referred to as "dressing", is a fundamental general concept in physics that explains a variety of physical phenomena, such as exotic particle formations and phase transitions. The role of the lattice in this dressing is particularly controversial. Phonons are quanta of lattice vibration energy, and play a crucial role in conventional superconductivity. They provide an attractive interaction allowing the electrons to condensate in superconducting Cooper pairs. However, high temperature superconductivity in the cuprates in achieved through hole doping in an antiferromagnetic Mott insulator. In this case, the antiferromagnetic background, the strong coulomb repulsion and the anisotropic superconducting gap all suggest a marginal role of the phonons. In order to assess experimentally the exact role of the phonon, angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) is the weapon of choice given its unique ability to probe the electronic structure of solids in an energy- and momentum-resolved manner. In this thesis, I will use ARPES to characterize the various form of dressing of the quasiparticles in the high temperature superconductor from the Fermi level all the way to the valence band complex. I'll show that when combined with isotope substitution and inelastic x-rays scattering, the strong electron-phonon interaction can be probed in vivid details. This thesis presents three fundamental results. 1) Using the isotope effect, the important and unusual role of the phonon is demonstrated, as well as the strong interplay between the magnetic and phonic degrees of freedom. 2) Using inelastic scattering, the intriguing interplay between the Fermi surface and the bond stretching phonon is exposed. And 3) By exploring the ARPES data up to high energy, two new energy scales at high binding energy as well as the spectral waterfalls phenomenon are revealed. When all these new elements are considered together, they clearly show the need to consider simultaneously the spin, lattice, Fermi surface topology and electronic degrees of freedom. The spectacular progress in ARPES techniques over the past two decades was critical for these results, and I will present in this thesis our current effort in pushing the techniques even further. In particular I'll present my efforts in building a laser based ARPES setup with a hemispherical analyzer and a spin resolved time of flight analyzer.


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