Commensurate 4a0-period charge density modulations throughout the Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+xpseudogap regime
Theories based upon strong real space (r-space) electron-electron interactions have long predicted that unidirectional charge density modulations (CDMs) with four-unit-cell (4a0) periodicity should occur in the hole-doped cuprate Mott insulator (MI). Experimentally, however, increasing the hole density p is reported to cause the conventionally defined wavevector QA of the CDM to evolve continuously as if driven primarily by momentum-space (k-space) effects. Here we introduce phase-resolved electronic structure visualization for determination of the cuprate CDM wavevector. Remarkably, this technique reveals a virtually doping-independent locking of the local CDM wavevector at, Q0,=2Ï€=4a0throughout the underdoped phase diagram of the canonical cuprate Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8. These observations have significant fundamental consequences because they are orthogonal to a k-space (Fermi-surface)-based picture of the cuprate CDMs but are consistent with strong-coupling r-space-based theories. Our findings imply that it is the latter that provides the intrinsic organizational principle for the cuprate CDM state.