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Widespread orthorhombic fluctuations in the (Sr,Na)Fe2As2 family of superconductors

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

© 2018 American Physical Society. We report comprehensive pair distribution function measurements of the hole-doped iron-based superconductor system Sr1-xNaxFe2As2. Structural refinements performed as a function of temperature and length scale reveal orthorhombic distortions of the instantaneous local structure across a large region of the phase diagram possessing average tetragonal symmetry, indicative of fluctuating nematicity. These nematic fluctuations are present up to high doping levels (x=0.48, near optimal superconductivity) and high temperatures (above room temperature for x=0, decreasing to 150 K for x=0.48), with a typical length scale of 1-3 nm. This work highlights the ubiquity of nematic fluctuations in a representative iron-based superconductor and provides important details about the evolution of these fluctuations across the phase diagram.

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