A model for the quasi 60 K plateau in the YBa2Cu3O6+x high-T-c compound
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The 60 K plateau of the YBa2Cu3O6+x high-T-c superconducting compound has traditionally been known as a horizontal section in its T-c(x) characteristics within which the critical temperature maintains at a constant level T-c approximate to 60 K. However, recent experiments on a series of high quality single crystals samples of the YBa2Cu3O6+x compound (produced by improved techniques of sample preparation) have shown the 60 K plateau does not manifest itself anymore as a horizontal section of the T-c(x), but emerges as a section over which T-c(x) keeps on continuously rising (the quasi 60 K plateau). Here we propose a theoretical model that explains how the classical (horizontal) 60 K plateau naturally evolves into the quasi 60 K plateau, due to the improved orthorhombicity in the high quality single crystal material accompanied by longer CuO chains. The model assumes that short CuO chains do not contribute to the hole transfer from chains to CuO2 layers, but only chains whose length i...s greater than, or equal to, a certain threshold length l(cr). Our calculations point to a conclusion that this minimal number of oxygen atoms in a CuO chain, that is required to trigger the hole transfer, is equal to four. The calculated values for T-c(x) are in a very good correlation with the corresponding experimentally obtained results. (C) 2012 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.