"Doping dependence of femtosecond quasiparticle relaxation dynamics in Ba(Fe,Co)2As2single crystals: Evidence for normal-state nematic fluctuations"

L. Stojchevska: T. Mertelj, Jiun-Haw Chu, Ian R. Fisher, and D. Mihailovic ; Phys. Rev. B , 07/19/12.

Additional Authors: T. Mertelj, Jiun-Haw Chu, Ian R. Fisher, and D. Mihailovic


We systematically investigate the photoexcited (PE) quasiparticle (QP) relaxation and low-energy electronic structure in electron doped Ba(Fe1−xCox)2As2 single crystals as a function of Co doping, 0≤x≤0.11. The evolution of the photoinduced reflectivity transients with x proceeds with no abrupt changes. In the orthorhombic spin-density-wave (SDW) state, a bottleneck associated with a partial charge-gap opening is detected, similar to previous results in different SDW iron pnictides. The relative charge gap magnitude 2Δ(0)/kBTs decreases with increasing x. In the superconducting (SC) state, an additional relaxational component appears due to a partial (or complete) destruction of the SC state proceeding on a sub-0.5-picosecond timescale. From the SC component saturation behavior the optical SC-state destruction energy, Up/kB=0.3 K/Fe, is determined near the optimal doping. The subsequent relatively slow recovery of the SC state indicates clean SC gaps. The T dependence of the transient reflectivity amplitude in the normal state is consistent with the presence of a pseudogap in the QP density of states. The polarization anisotropy of the transients suggests that the pseudogap-like behavior might be associated with a broken fourfold rotational symmetry resulting from nematic electronic fluctuations persisting up to T≃200 K at any x. The second moment of the Eliashberg function, obtained from the relaxation rate in the metallic state at higher temperatures, indicates a moderate electron phonon coupling, λ≲0.3, that decreases with increasing doping.