Theory of the valley-density wave and hidden order in iron pnictides

Jian Kang, Zlatko Tešanović

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41 Scopus citations


In the limit of perfect nesting, the physics of iron pnictides is governed by the density wave formation at the zone-edge vector M. At high energies, various spin- (SDW), charge-, and orbital/pocket- (PDW) density waves, and their linear combinations, all appear equally likely, unified within the unitary order parameter of U(4)×U(4) symmetry. Nesting imperfections and low-energy interactions reduce this symmetry to that of real materials. Nevertheless, the generic ground state preserves a distinct signature of its highly symmetric origins: A SDW along one axis of the iron lattice is predicted to coexist with a perpendicular PDW, accompanied by weak charge currents. This "hidden" order induces the structural transition in our theory, naturally insures Ts≥TN, and leads to orbital ferromagnetism and other observable consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020505
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 31 2011
Externally publishedYes


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