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Title: Itinerant electrons, local moments, and magnetic correlations in the pnictide superconductors CeFeAsO₁₋xFxand Sr(Fe₁₋xCox)₂As₂

A direct and element-specific measurement of the local Fe spin moment has been provided by analyzing the Fe 3s core level photoemission spectra in the parent and optimally doped CeFeAsO₁₋xFx (x = 0, 0.11) and Sr(Fe₁₋xCox)2As2 (x = 0, 0.10) pnictides. The rapid time scales of the photoemission process allowed the detection of large local spin moments fluctuating on a 10⁻¹⁵ s time scale in the paramagnetic, antiferromagnetic, and superconducting phases, indicative of the occurrence of ubiquitous strong Hund's magnetic correlations. The magnitude of the spin moment is found to vary significantly among different families, 1.3μB in CeFeAsO and 2.1μB in SrFe₂As₂. Surprisingly, the spin moment is found to decrease considerably in the optimally doped samples, 0.9μB in CeFeAsO₀.₈₉F₀.₁₁ and 1.3μB in Sr(Fe₀.₉Co₀.₁)₂As₂. The strong variation of the spin moment against doping and material type indicates that the spin moments and the motion of itinerant electrons are influenced reciprocally in a self-consistent fashion, reflecting the strong competition between the antiferromagnetic superexchange interaction among the spin moments and the kinetic energy gain of the itinerant electrons in the presence of a strong Hund's coupling. By describing the evolution of the magnetic correlations concomitant with the appearance of superconductivity, these results constitutemore » a fundamental step toward attaining a correct description of the microscopic mechanisms shaping the electronic properties in the pnictides, including magnetism and high-temperature superconductivity.« less
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Publication Date:
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 85; Journal Issue: 22; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-04-06 08:59:19; Journal ID: ISSN 1098-0121
American Physical Society
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1103556