"Nematic quantum criticality in an Fe-based superconductor revealed by strain-tuning"

Thanapat Worasaran: Matthias S. Ikeda, Johanna C. Palmstrom, Joshua A. W. Straquadine, Steven A. Kivelson, Ian R. Fisher; Science, 05/28/21.

Additional Authors: Matthias S. Ikeda, Johanna C. Palmstrom, Joshua A. W. Straquadine, Steven A. Kivelson, Ian R. Fisher

Abstract:

Quantum criticality may be essential to understanding a wide range of exotic electronic behavior; however, conclusive evidence of quantum critical fluctuations has been elusive in many materials of current interest. An expected characteristic feature of quantum criticality is power-law behavior of thermodynamic quantities as a function of a nonthermal tuning parameter close to the quantum critical point (QCP). Here, we observed power-law behavior of the critical temperature of the coupled nematic/structural phase transition as a function of uniaxial stress in a representative family of iron-based superconductors, providing direct evidence of quantum critical nematic fluctuations in this material. These quantum critical fluctuations are not confined within a narrow regime around the QCP but rather extend over a wide range of temperatures and compositions.