Spectroscopic Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Insights into Fe-based Superconductors
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CitationHoffman, Jennifer. 2011. Spectroscopic scanning tunneling microscopy insights into Fe-based superconductors. Reports on Progress in Physics 74(12): 124513.
AbstractIn the first three years since the discovery of Fe-based high Tc superconductors, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy have shed light on three important questions. First, STM has demonstrated the complexity of the pairing symmetry in Fe-based materials. Phase-sensitive quasiparticle interference (QPI) imaging and low temperature spectroscopy have shown that the pairing order parameter varies from nodal to nodeless s\pm within a single family, FeTe1-xSex. Second, STM has imaged C4 -> C2 symmetry breaking in the electronic states of both parent and superconducting materials. As a local probe, STM is in a strong position to understand the interactions between these broken symmetry states and superconductivity. Finally, STM has been used to image the vortex state, giving insights into the technical problem of vortex pinning, and the fundamental problem of the competing states introduced when superconductivity is locally quenched by a magnetic field. Here we give a pedagogical introduction to STM and QPI imaging, discuss the specific challenges associated with extracting bulk properties from the study of surfaces, and report on progress made in understanding Fe-based superconductors using STM techniques.
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