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In-Plane Resistivity Anisotropy in an Underdoped Iron Arsenide Superconductor

Science  13 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5993, pp. 824-826
DOI: 10.1126/science.1190482

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Abstract

High-temperature superconductivity often emerges in the proximity of a symmetry-breaking ground state. For superconducting iron arsenides, in addition to the antiferromagnetic ground state, a small structural distortion breaks the crystal’s C4 rotational symmetry in the underdoped part of the phase diagram. We reveal that the representative iron arsenide Ba(Fe1−xCox)2As2 develops a large electronic anisotropy at this transition via measurements of the in-plane resistivity of detwinned single crystals, with the resistivity along the shorter b axis ρb being greater than ρa. The anisotropy reaches a maximum value of ~2 for compositions in the neighborhood of the beginning of the superconducting dome. For temperatures well above the structural transition, uniaxial stress induces a resistivity anisotropy, indicating a substantial nematic susceptibility.

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