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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Local Orthorhombicity in the Magnetic C4 Phase of the Hole-Doped Iron-Arsenide Superconductor Sr1-xNaxFe2As2

  • Author(s): Frandsen, BA
  • Taddei, KM
  • Yi, M
  • Frano, A
  • Guguchia, Z
  • Yu, R
  • Si, Q
  • Bugaris, DE
  • Stadel, R
  • Osborn, R
  • Rosenkranz, S
  • Chmaissem, O
  • Birgeneau, RJ
  • et al.

© 2017 American Physical Society. We report on temperature-dependent pair distribution function measurements of Sr1-xNaxFe2As2, an iron-based superconductor system that contains a magnetic phase with reentrant tetragonal symmetry, known as the magnetic C4 phase. Quantitative refinements indicate that the instantaneous local structure in the C4 phase comprises fluctuating orthorhombic regions with a length scale of ∼2 nm, despite the tetragonal symmetry of the average static structure. Additionally, local orthorhombic fluctuations exist on a similar length scale at temperatures well into the paramagnetic tetragonal phase. These results highlight the exceptionally large nematic susceptibility of iron-based superconductors and have significant implications for the magnetic C4 phase and the neighboring C2 and superconducting phases.

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