Signatures of a quantum Griffiths phase close to an electronic nematic quantum phase transition
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.
Strain-tuning of nematicity and superconductivity in single crystals of FeSe
Abstract:Strain is a powerful experimental tool to explore new electronic states and understand unconventional superconductivity. Here, we investigate the effect of uniaxial strain on the nematic and superconducting phase of single crystal FeSe using magnetotransport measurements. We find that the resistivity response to the strain is strongly temperature dependent and it correlates with the sign change in the Hall coefficient being driven by scattering, coupling with the lattice and multiband phenomena. Band structure calculations suggest that under strain the electron pockets develop a large in-plane anisotropy as compared with the hole pocket. Magnetotransport studies at low temperatures indicate that the mobility of the dominant carriers increases with tensile strain. Close to the critical temperature, all resistivity curves at constant strain cross in a single point, indicating a universal critical exponent linked to a strain-induced phase transition. Our results indicate that the superconducting state is enhanced under compressive strain and suppressed under tensile strain, in agreement with the trends observed in FeSe thin films and overdoped pnictides, whereas the nematic phase seems to be affected in the opposite way by the uniaxial strain. By comparing the enhanced superconductivity under strain of different systems, our results suggest that strain on its own cannot account for the enhanced high $T_c$ superconductivity of FeSe systems.
Electronic nematic states tuned by isoelectronic substitution in bulk FeSe1-xSx
Abstract:Isoelectronic substitution is an ideal tuning parameter to alter electronic states and correlations in iron-based superconductors. As this substitution takes place outside the conducting Fe planes, the electronic behaviour is less affected by the impurity scattering experimentally and relevant key electronic parameters can be accessed. In this short review, I present the experimental progress made in understanding the electronic behaviour of the nematic electronic superconductors, FeSe1-xSx. A direct signature of the nematic electronic state is in-plane anisotropic distortion of the Fermi surface triggered by orbital ordering effects and electronic interactions that result in multi-band shifts detected by ARPES. Upon sulphur substitution, the electronic correlations and the Fermi velocities decrease in the tetragonal phase. Quantum oscillations are observed for the whole series in ultra-high magnetic fields and show a complex spectra due to the presence of many small orbits. Effective masses associated to the largest orbit display non-divergent behaviour at the nematic end point (x~0.175(5)), as opposed to critical spin-fluctuations in other iron pnictides. Magnetotransport behaviour has a strong deviation from the Fermi liquid behaviour and linear T resistivity is detected at low temperatures inside the nematic phase, where scattering from low energy spin-fluctuations are likely to be present. The superconductivity is not enhanced in FeSe1-xSx and there are no divergent electronic correlations at the nematic end point. These manifestations indicate a strong coupling with the lattice in FeSe1-xSx and a pairing mechanism likely promoted by spin fluctuations.
Suppression of superconductivity and enhanced critical field anisotropy in thin flakes of FeSe
Abstract:FeSe is a unique superconductor that can be manipulated to enhance its superconductivity using different routes while its monolayer form grown on different substrates reaches a record high temperature for a two-dimensional system. In order to understand the role played by the substrate and the reduced dimensionality on superconductivity, we examine the superconducting properties of exfoliated FeSe thin flakes by reducing the thickness from bulk down towards 9 nm. Magnetotransport measurements performed in magnetic fields up to 16T and temperatures down to 2K help to build up complete superconducting phase diagrams of different thickness flakes. While the thick flakes resemble the bulk behaviour, by reducing the thickness the superconductivity of FeSe flakes is suppressed. In the thin limit we detect signatures of a crossover towards two-dimensional behaviour from the observation of the vortex-antivortex unbinding transition and strongly enhanced anisotropy. Our study provides detailed insights into the evolution of the superconducting properties from three-dimensional bulk behaviour towards the two-dimensional limit of FeSe in the absence of a dopant substrate.
Competing pairing interactions responsible for the large upper critical field in a stoichiometric iron-based superconductor CaKFe4As4
The upper critical field of multiband superconductors is an important quantity that can reveal details about the nature of the superconducting pairing. Here we experimentally map out the complete upper-critical-field phase diagram of a stoichiometric superconductor, CaKFe4As4, up to 90 T for different orientations of the magnetic field and at temperatures down to 4.2K. The upper critical fields are extremely large, reaching values close to ∼3 Tc at the lowest temperature, and the anisotropy decreases dramatically with temperature, leading to essentially isotropic superconductivity at 4.2K. We find that the temperature dependence of the upper critical field can be well described by a two-band model in the clean limit with band-coupling parameters favoring intraband over interband interactions. The large Pauli paramagnetic effects together with the presence of the shallow bands is consistent with the stabilization of an FFLO state at low temperatures in this clean superconductor.