Superconductivity in FeSe thin films driven by the interplay between nematic fluctuations and spin-orbit coupling

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Abstract

The origin of the high-temperature superconducting state observed in FeSe thin films, whose phase diagram displays no sign of magnetic order, remains a hotly debated topic. Here we investigate whether fluctuations arising due to the proximity to a nematic phase, which is observed in the phase diagram of this material, can promote superconductivity. We find that nematic fluctuations alone promote a highly degenerate pairing state, in which both s-wave and d-wave symmetries are equally favored, and Tc is consequently suppressed. However, the presence of a sizable spin-orbit coupling or inversion symmetry breaking at the film interface lifts this harmful degeneracy and selects the s-wave state, in agreement with recent experimental proposals. The resulting gap function displays a weak anisotropy, which agrees with experiments in monolayer FeSe and intercalated Li1-x(OH)xFeSe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number217003
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume117
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 18 2016

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