New Antiferromagnetic Phase: Clue to Design of Iron-based Superconductor with Higher Critical Temperature

Researcher group led by Hideo Hosono (Soshi Iimura, Hiroshi Okanishi, and Satoru Matsuishi) at Tokyo Institute of Technology has disclosed a unique phase diagram yields important clues to the unconventional origins of high-Tc superconductivity.

Figure. Electronic phase diagram of SmFeAsO1-xHx.

In iron-based superconductors, high critical temperature (Tc) superconductivity over 50 K has only been accomplished in electron-doped hREFeAsO (hRE is heavy rare earth (RE) element). Although hREFeAsO has the highest bulk Tc (58 K), progress in understanding its physical properties has been relatively slow due to difficulties in achieving high-concentration electron doping and carrying out neutron experiments. Here, the researchers present a systematic neutron powder diffraction study of 154SmFeAsO 1-xDx, and the discovery of a long-range antiferromagnetic ordering with x ≥ 0.56 (AFM2) accompanying a structural transition from tetragonal to orthorhombic. Surprisingly, the Fe magnetic moment in AFM2 reaches a magnitude of 2.73 μB/Fe, which is the largest in all nondoped iron pnictides and chalcogenides. Theoretical calculations suggest that the AFM2 phase originates in kinetic frustration of the Fe-3dxy orbital, in which the nearest-neighbor hopping parameter becomes zero. The unique phase diagram, i.e., highest-Tc superconducting phase adjacent to the strongly correlated phase in electron-overdoped regime, yields important clues to the unconventional origins of superconductivity.

This research result was published on the early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on May 15th, 2017.

Source : Tokyo Institute of Technology