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Incommensurate lattice distortion in the high temperature tetragonal phase of La$$_{2-x}$$(Sr,Ba)$$_{x}$$CuO$$_{4}$$

Wakimoto, Shuichi  ; Kimura, Hiroyuki*; Fujita, Masaki*; Yamada, Kazuyoshi*; Noda, Yukio*; Shirane, Gen*; Gu, G.*; Kim, H.*; Birgeneau, R. J.*

We report incommensurate diffuse (ICD) scattering appearing in the high-temperature-tetragonal (HTT) phase of La$$_{2-x}$$(Sr,Ba)$$_{x}$$CuO$$_{4}$$ with 0.07 $$leq$$ $$times$$ $$leq$$ 0.20 observed by the neutron diffraction technique. For all compositions, a sharp superlattice peak of the low-temperature-orthorhombic (LTO) structure is replaced by a pair of ICD peaks with a modulation vector parallel to the CuO$$_6$$ octahedral tilting direction, that is, the diagonal Cu-Cu direction of the CuO$$_2$$ plane, above the LTO-HTT transition temperature $$T_s$$. The temperature dependences of incommensurability $$delta$$ for all samples scale approximately to $$T/T_s$$, while those of integrated intensity of the ICD peaks scale to $$T-T_s$$. Those observations together with absence of ICD peaks in the non-superconducting $$x=0.05$$ sample evince a universal incommensurate lattice instability of hole-doped 214 cuprates in the superconducting regime.

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