Momentum and energy dependence of the anomalous high-energy dispersion in the electronic structure of high temperature superconductors

Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Dec 7;99(23):237002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.237002. Epub 2007 Dec 6.


Using high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy we have studied the momentum and photon energy dependence of the anomalous high-energy dispersion, termed waterfalls, between the Fermi level and 1 eV binding energy in several high-T_{c} superconductors. We observe strong changes of the dispersion between different Brillouin zones and a strong dependence on the photon energy around 75 eV, which we associate with the resonant photoemission at the Cu3p-->3d_{x;{2}-y;{2}} edge. We conclude that the high-energy "waterfall" dispersion results from a strong suppression of the photoemission intensity at the center of the Brillouin zone due to matrix element effects and is, therefore, not an intrinsic feature of the spectral function. This indicates that the new high-energy scale in the electronic structure of cuprates derived from the waterfall-like dispersion may be incorrect.