Uniaxial pressure induced stripe order rotation in La1.88Sr0.12CuO4

Static stripe order is detrimental to superconductivity. Yet, it has been proposed that transverse stripe fluctuations may enhance the inter-stripe Josephson coupling and thus promote superconductivity. Direct experimental studies of stripe dynamics, however, remain difficult. From a strong-coupling perspective, transverse stripe fluctuations are realized in the form of dynamic “kinks”—sideways shifting stripe sections. Here, we show how modest uniaxial pressure tuning reorganizes directional kink alignment. Our starting point is La1.88Sr0.12CuO4 where transverse kink ordering results in a rotation of stripe order away from the crystal axis. Application of mild uniaxial pressure changes the ordering pattern and pins the stripe order to the crystal axis. This reordering occurs at a much weaker pressure than that to detwin the stripe domains and suggests a rather weak transverse stripe stiffness. Weak spatial stiffness and transverse quantum fluctuations are likely key prerequisites for stripes to coexist with superconductivity.