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Title: Surface nematic order in iron pnictides

Electronic nematicity plays an important role in iron-based superconductors. These materials have a layered structure and the theoretical description of their magnetic and nematic transitions has been well established in the two-dimensional approximation, i.e., when the layers can be treated independently. However, the interaction between iron layers mediated by electron tunneling may cause nontrivial three-dimensional behavior. Starting from the simplest model for orbital nematic in a single layer, we investigate the influence of interlayer tunneling on the bulk nematic order and a possible preemptive state where this order is only formed near the surface. In addition, we found that the interlayer tunneling suppresses the bulk nematicity, which makes favorable the formation of a surface nematic order above the bulk transition temperature. The purely electronic tunneling Hamiltonian, however, favors a nematic order parameter that alternates from layer to layer. The uniform bulk state typically observed experimentally may be stabilized by the coupling with the elastic lattice deformation. Depending on the strength of this coupling, we found three regimes: (i) surface nematic and alternating bulk order, (ii) surface nematic and uniform bulk order, and (iii) uniform bulk order without the intermediate surface phase. Lastly, the intermediate surface-nematic state may resolve the currentmore » controversy about the existence of a weak nematic transition in the compound BaFe 2As 2-xP x .« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; AC02-98CH1088
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 94; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States