Structural Quantum Criticality and Superconductivity in Iron-Based Superconductor Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2
Journal of the Physical Society of Japan
We investigated the elastic properties of the iron-based superconductor Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2 with eight Co concentrations. The elastic constant C66 shows large elastic softening associated with the structural phase transition. The C66 was analyzed base on localized and itinerant pictures of Fe-3d electrons, which shows the strong electron-lattice coupling and a possible mass enhancement in this system. The results resemble those of unconventional superconductors, where the properties of the system
... re governed by the quantum fluctuations associated with the zero-temperature critical point of the long-range order; namely, the quantum critical point (QCP). In this system, the inverse of C66 behaves just like the magnetic susceptibility in the magnetic QCP systems. While the QCPs of these existing superconductors are all ascribed to antiferromagnetism, our systematic studies on the canonical iron-based superconductor Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2 have revealed that there is a signature of "structural quantum criticality" in this material, which is so far without precedent. The elastic constant anomaly is suggested to concern with the emergence of superconductivity. These results highlight the strong electron-lattice coupling and effect of the band in this system, thus challenging the prevailing scenarios that focus on the role of the iron 3d-orbitals.