The origin of the exceptionally strong superconductivity of cuprates remains a subject of debate after more than two decades of investigation. Here we follow a new lead: The onset temperature for superconductivity scales with the strength of the anomalous normal-state scattering that makes the resistivity linear in temperature. The same correlation between linear resistivity and is found in organic superconductors, for which pairing is known to come from fluctuations of a nearby antiferromagnetic phase, and in pnictide superconductors, for which an antiferromagnetic scenario is also likely. In the cuprates, the question is whether the pseudogap phase plays the corresponding role, with its fluctuations responsible for pairing and scattering. We review recent studies that shed light on this phase—its boundary, its quantum critical point, and its broken symmetries. The emerging picture is that of a phase with spin-density-wave order and fluctuations, in broad analogy with organic, pnictide, and heavy-fermion superconductors.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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