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Title: Specific heat to H c2: Evidence for nodes or deep minima in the superconducting gap of underdoped and overdoped Ba(Fe 1–xCo x)₂As₂

Low-temperature specific heat, C, in magnetic fields up to H c2 is reported for underdoped Ba(Fe₀.₉₅₅Co₀.₀₄₅)₂As₂ (T c = 8 K) and for three overdoped samples Ba(Fe₁₋ xCo x)₂As₂ (x = 0.103, 0.13, and 0.15; T c = 17.2, 16.5, and 11.7 K, respectively). Previous measurements of thermal conductivity (as a function of temperature and field) and penetration depth on comparable-composition samples gave some disagreement as to whether there was fully gapped/nodal behavior in the under-/overdoped materials, respectively. The present work shows that the measured behavior of the specific heat γ (∝C/T as T → 0, i.e., a measure of the electronic density of states at the Fermi energy) as a function of field approximately obeys γ ∝ H 0.5±0.1, similar to the Volovik effect for nodal superconductors, for both the underdoped and the most overdoped Co samples. However, for the two overdoped compositions x = 0.103 and 0.13, the low-field (H ≤ 10 T) data show a Volovik-like behavior of γ ∝ H 0.3–0.4, followed by an inflection point, followed at higher fields by γ ∝ H¹. We argue that, within the two-band theory of superconductivity, an inflection point may occur if the interband coupling is dominant.
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Publication Date:
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Journal Volume: 86 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1098-0121
American Physical Society
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: