This paper reports a detailed structural study of the incommensurate modulated phase in high pressure synthesized Sr2CuO3+x superconductors based on transmission electron diffraction, high resolution electron microscopy and simulations. Face-centered orthorhombic structure with an average commensurate lattice constant of about 5√2ap×5√2ap×cp (p stands for the tetragonal La2CuO4-type structure) has been identified and an atomic model of this average structure is proposed. The modulated structure results from metal ion shear displacements with half sine and half cosine waves along 〈110〉p directions. Analysis of the displacement fields suggests that the Cu ions have a half cosine wave displacement, which supports the existence of oxygen vacancies in the CuO1+x layer proposed by a previous neutron diffraction study. If this modulated phase is indeed the superconducting phase our results call into question the requirement of intact CuO2 sheets for superconductivity in high-Tc cuprates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering