We measured the magnetoresistance as a function of temperature down to 20 mK and magnetic field for a set of underdoped Pr1.88 Ce0.12 CuO4-δ thin films with controlled oxygen content. This allows us to access the edge of the superconducting dome on the underdoped side. The sheet resistance increases with increasing oxygen content whereas the superconducting transition temperature is steadily decreasing down to zero. Upon applying various magnetic fields to suppress superconductivity we found that the sheet resistance increases when the temperature is lowered. It saturates at very low temperatures. These results, along with the magnetoresistance, cannot be described in the context of zero-temperature two-dimensional superconductor-to-insulator transition nor as a simple Kondo effect due to scattering off spins in the copper-oxide planes. We conjecture that due to the proximity to an antiferromagnetic phase magnetic droplets are induced. This results in negative magnetoresistance and in an upturn in the resistivity.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - 9 Sep 2010|