# Electronic liquid crystal state in the high-temperature superconductor YBa$_2$Cu$_3$O$_{6.45}$

Abstract : Electronic phases with symmetry properties matching those of conventional liquid crystals have recently been discovered in transport experiments on semiconductor heterostructures and metal oxides at milli-Kelvin temperatures. We report the spontaneous onset of a onedimensional, incommensurate modulation of the spin system in the high-temperature superconductor YBa$_2$Cu$_3$O$_{6.45}$ upon cooling below ~150 K, while static magnetic order is absent above 2 K. The evolution of this modulation with temperature and doping parallels that of the in-plane anisotropy of the resistivity, indicating an electronic nematic phase that is stable over a wide temperature range. The results suggest that soft spin fluctuations are a microscopic route towards electronic liquid crystals, and nematic order can coexist with high-temperature superconductivity in underdoped cuprates.
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V. Hinkov, D. Haug, B. Fauqué, P. Bourges, Yvan Sidis, et al.. Electronic liquid crystal state in the high-temperature superconductor YBa$_2$Cu$_3$O$_{6.45}$. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2008, 319 (5863), pp.597. ⟨10.1126/science.1152309⟩. ⟨cea-00815717⟩

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