Faculté des sciences

Electronic phase separation in the slightly underdoped iron pnictide superconductor Ba1-xKxFe₂As₂

Park, J. T. ; Inosov, D. S. ; Niedermayer, Ch. ; Sun, G. L. ; Haug, D. ; Christensen, N. B. ; Dinnebier, R. ; Boris, A. V. ; Drew, Alan J. ; Schulz, Leander ; Shapoval, T. ; Wolff, U. ; Neu, V. ; Yang, Xiaoping ; Lin, C. T. ; Keimer, B. ; Hinkov, V.

In: Physical Review Letters, 2009, vol. 102, no. 111, p. 117006

Here we present a combined study of the slightly underdoped novel pnictide superconductor Ba1-xKxFe₂As₂ by means of x-ray powder diffraction, neutron scattering, muon-spin rotation (µSR), and magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Static antiferromagnetic order sets in below Tm≈70 K as inferred from the neutron scattering and... Plus

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    Summary
    Here we present a combined study of the slightly underdoped novel pnictide superconductor Ba1-xKxFe₂As₂ by means of x-ray powder diffraction, neutron scattering, muon-spin rotation (µSR), and magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Static antiferromagnetic order sets in below Tm≈70 K as inferred from the neutron scattering and zero-field-µSR data. Transverse-field µSR below Tc shows a coexistence of magnetically ordered and nonmagnetic states, which is also confirmed by MFM imaging. We explain such coexistence by electronic phase separation into antiferromagnetic and superconducting- or normal-state regions on a lateral scale of several tens of nanometers. Our findings indicate that such mesoscopic phase separation can be considered an intrinsic property of some iron pnictide superconductors.