Physics picture from neutron scattering study on Fe-based superconductors

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Original languageEnglish
Article number087405
Journal / PublicationChinese Physics B
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


Neutron scattering, with its ability to measure the crystal structure, the magnetic order, and the structural and magnetic excitations, plays an active role in investigating various families of Fe-based high-Tc superconductors. Three different types of antiferromagnetic orders have been discovered in the Fe plane, but two of them cannot be explained by the spin-densitywave (SDW) mechanism of nesting Fermi surfaces. Noticing the close relation between antiferromagnetic order and lattice distortion in orbital ordering from previous studies on manganites and other oxides, we have advocated orbital ordering as the underlying common mechanism for the structural and antiferromagnetic transitions in the 1111, 122, and 11 parent compounds. We observe the coexistence of antiferromagnetic order and superconductivity in the (Ba, K)Fe2As2 system, when its phase separation is generally accepted. Optimal Tc is proposed to be controlled by the local FeAs4 tetrahedron from our investigation on the 1111 materials. The Bloch phase coherence of the Fermi liquid is found crucial to the occurrence of bulk superconductivity in iron chalcogenides of both the 11 and the 245 families. Iron chalcogenides carry a larger staggered magnetic moment (>2 μB /Fe) than that in iron pnictides (< 1 μB /Fe) in the antiferromagnetic order. Normal state magnetic excitations in the 11 superconductor are of the itinerant nature while in the 245 superconductor the spin-waves of localized moments. The observation of superconducting resonance peak provides a crucial piece of information in current deliberation of the pairing symmetry in Fe-based superconductors. 

Research Area(s)

  • Antiferromagnetic order, Excitations, Orbital ordering, Structural transition