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Local Orthorhombicity in the Magnetic C_{4} Phase of the Hole-Doped Iron-Arsenide Superconductor Sr_{1-x}Na_{x}Fe_{2}As_{2}.

  • Author(s): Frandsen, Benjamin A;
  • Taddei, Keith M;
  • Yi, Ming;
  • Frano, Alex;
  • Guguchia, Zurab;
  • Yu, Rong;
  • Si, Qimiao;
  • Bugaris, Daniel E;
  • Stadel, Ryan;
  • Osborn, Raymond;
  • Rosenkranz, Stephan;
  • Chmaissem, Omar;
  • Birgeneau, Robert J
  • et al.
Abstract

We report on temperature-dependent pair distribution function measurements of Sr_{1-x}Na_{x}Fe_{2}As_{2}, an iron-based superconductor system that contains a magnetic phase with reentrant tetragonal symmetry, known as the magnetic C_{4} phase. Quantitative refinements indicate that the instantaneous local structure in the C_{4} 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 C_{4} phase and the neighboring C_{2} and superconducting phases.

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