Nematic Correlation Length in Iron-Based Superconductors Probed by Inelastic X-Ray Scattering

A. M. Merritt, F. Weber, J. P. Castellan, Th Wolf, D. Ishikawa, A. H. Said, A. Alatas, R. M. Fernandes, A. Q.R. Baron, D. Reznik

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Nematicity is ubiquitous in electronic phases of high-Tc superconductors, particularly in the Fe-based systems. We used inelastic x-ray scattering to extract the temperature-dependent nematic correlation length ζ from the anomalous softening of acoustic phonon modes in FeSe, underdoped Ba(Fe0.97Co0.03)2As2, and optimally doped Ba(Fe0.94Co0.06)2As2. In all cases, we find that ζ is well described by a power law (T-T0)-1/2 extending over a wide temperature range. Combined with the previously reported Curie-Weiss behavior of the nematic susceptibility, these results point to the mean-field character of the nematic transition, which we attribute to a sizable nematoelastic coupling that is likely detrimental to superconductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number157001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 17 2020

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