Unconventional localization of electrons inside of a nematic electronic phase
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119:43 (2022)
Abstract:The magnetotransport behavior inside the nematic phase of bulk FeSe reveals unusual multiband effects that cannot be reconciled with a simple two-band approximation proposed by surface-sensitive spectroscopic probes. In order to understand the role played by the multiband electronic structure and the degree of two-dimensionality, we have investigated the electronic properties of exfoliated flakes of FeSe by reducing their thickness. Based on magnetotransport and Hall resistivity measurements, we assess the mobility spectrum that suggests an unusual asymmetry between the mobilities of the electrons and holes, with the electron carriers becoming localized inside the nematic phase. Quantum oscillations in magnetic fields up to 38 T indicate the presence of a hole-like quasiparticle with a lighter effective mass and a quantum scattering time three times shorter, as compared with bulk FeSe. The observed localization of negative charge carriers by reducing dimensionality can be driven by orbitally dependent correlation effects, enhanced interband spin fluctuations, or a Lifshitz-like transition, which affect mainly the electron bands. The electronic localization leads to a fragile two-dimensional superconductivity in thin flakes of FeSe, in contrast to the two-dimensional high Tc induced with electron doping via dosing or using a suitable interface.
Iron pnictides and chalcogenides: a new paradigm for superconductivity
Nature Nature Research 601 (2022) 35-44
Abstract:Superconductivity is a remarkably widespread phenomenon that is observed in most metals cooled to very low temperatures. The ubiquity of such conventional superconductors, and the wide range of associated critical temperatures, is readily understood in terms of the well-known Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer theory. Occasionally, however, unconventional superconductors are found, such as the iron-based materials, which extend and defy this understanding in unexpected ways. In the case of the iron-based superconductors, this includes the different ways in which the presence of multiple atomic orbitals can manifest in unconventional superconductivity, giving rise to a rich landscape of gap structures that share the same dominant pairing mechanism. In addition, these materials have also led to insights into the unusual metallic state governed by the Hund’s interaction, the control and mechanisms of electronic nematicity, the impact of magnetic fluctuations and quantum criticality, and the importance of topology in correlated states. Over the fourteen years since their discovery, iron-based superconductors have proven to be a testing ground for the development of novel experimental tools and theoretical approaches, both of which have extensively influenced the wider field of quantum materials.
Signatures of a quantum Griffiths phase close to an electronic nematic quantum phase transition
Physical Review Letters American Physical Society 127:24 (2021) 246402
Abstract:In the vicinity of a quantum critical point, quenched disorder can lead to a quantum Griffiths phase, accompanied by an exotic power-law scaling with a continuously varying dynamical exponent that diverges in the zero-temperature limit. Here, we investigate a nematic quantum critical point in the iron-based superconductor FeSe 0.89 S 0.11 using applied hydrostatic pressure. We report an unusual crossing of the magnetoresistivity isotherms in the nonsuperconducting normal state that features a continuously varying dynamical exponent over a large temperature range. We interpret our results in terms of a quantum Griffiths phase caused by nematic islands that result from the local distribution of Se and S atoms. At low temperatures, the Griffiths phase is masked by the emergence of a Fermi liquid phase due to a strong nematoelastic coupling and a Lifshitz transition that changes the topology of the Fermi surface.
Quenched nematic criticality and two superconducting domes in an iron-based superconductor under pressure
Nature Physics 16, 89–94 (2020) Nature Research (2019)
Abstract:The nematic electronic state and its associated critical fluctuations have emerged as a potential candidate for the superconducting pairing in various unconventional superconductors. However, in most materials their coexistence with magnetically ordered phases poses a significant challenge in determining their importance. Here, by combining chemical and hydrostatic physical pressure in FeSe0.89S0.11, we access a nematic quantum phase transition isolated from any other competing magnetic phases. From quantum oscillations in high magnetic fields, we trace the evolution of the Fermi surface and electronic correlations as a function of applied pressure and detect a Lifshitz transition that separates two distinct superconducting regions. One emerges from the nematic phase with a small Fermi surface and strong electronic correlations, while the other one has a large Fermi surface and weak correlations that promotes nesting and stabilization of a magnetically ordered phase at high pressures. The absence of mass divergence at the nematic quantum phase transition suggests that the nematic fluctuations could be quenched by the strong coupling to the lattice or local strain effects. A direct consequence is the weakening of superconductivity at the nematic quantum phase transition in the absence of magnetically driven fluctuations.
Multi-band description of the upper critical field of bulk FeSe
ArXiv 2311.04188 (2023)