Unconventional s-Wave Superconductivity in Fe(Se,Te)

Science  23 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5977, pp. 474-476
DOI: 10.1126/science.1187399

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The superconducting state is characterized by a pairing of electrons with a superconducting gap on the Fermi surface. In iron-based superconductors, an unconventional pairing state has been argued for theoretically. We used scanning tunneling microscopy on Fe(Se,Te) single crystals to image the quasi-particle scattering interference patterns in the superconducting state. By applying a magnetic field to break the time-reversal symmetry, the relative sign of the superconducting gap can be determined from the magnetic-field dependence of quasi-particle scattering amplitudes. Our results indicate that the sign is reversed between the hole and the electron Fermi-surface pockets (s±-wave), favoring the unconventional pairing mechanism associated with spin fluctuations.

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