Soon after the discovery of high temperature superconductivity in the cuprates, Anderson proposed a connection to quantum spin liquids. But observations since then have shown that the low temperature phase diagram is dominated by conventional states, with a competition between superconductivity and charge-ordered states which break translational symmetry. We employ the "pseudogap metal" phase, found at intermediate temperatures and low hole doping, as the parent to the phases found at lower temperatures. We argue that the pseudogap is associated with a spin liquid, and that a particular spin liquid (the “pi-flux” state with an emergent SU(2) gauge field) exhibits confining instabilities which can resolve a number of open puzzles on the cuprate phase diagram.
This talk is based on Maine Christos, Zhu-Xi Luo, Henry Shackleton, Ya-Hui Zhang, Mathias S. Scheurer, and S. S., arXiv:2302.07885