Research ArticleSUPERCONDUCTORS

Evidence for orbital order and its relation to superconductivity in FeSe0.4Te0.6

Science Advances  16 Oct 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 9, e1500206
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500206

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Abstract

The emergence of nematic electronic states accompanied by a structural phase transition is a recurring theme in many correlated electron materials, including the high-temperature copper oxide– and iron-based superconductors. We provide evidence for nematic electronic states in the iron-chalcogenide superconductor FeSe0.4Te0.6 from quasi-particle scattering detected in spectroscopic maps. The symmetry-breaking states persist above Tc into the normal state. We interpret the scattering patterns by comparison with quasi-particle interference patterns obtained from a tight-binding model, accounting for orbital ordering. The relation to superconductivity and the influence on the coherence length are discussed.

Keywords
  • iron-based superconductors
  • scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy
  • nematicity
  • symmetry breaking
  • Superconductivity
  • quasi-particle interference

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