Press Release

Enhanced Superconducting Pairing Strength near a Pure Nematic Quantum Critical Point

Release:Mar 9, 2023 Update:Mar 9, 2023
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Professor Takasada Shibauchi of the Department of Advanced Materials Science in the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences led the research project.


The quest for high-temperature superconductivity at ambient pressure is a central issue in physics. In this regard, the relationship between unconventional superconductivity and the quantum critical point (QCP) associated with the suppression of some form of symmetry-breaking order to zero temperature has received particular attention. The key question is how the strength of the electron pairs changes near the QCP, and this can be verified by high-field experiments. However, such studies are limited mainly to superconductors with magnetic QCPs, and the possibility of unconventional mechanisms by which nonmagnetic QCP promotes strong pairing remains a nontrivial issue. Here, we report systematic measurements of the upper critical field Hc2 in nonmagnetic FeSe1−xTex superconductors, which exhibit a pure QCP of electronic nematicity characterized by spontaneous rotational-symmetry breaking. As the magnetic field increases, the superconducting phase of FeSe1−xTex shrinks to a narrower dome surrounding the nematic QCP. The analysis of Hc2 reveals that the Pauli-limiting field is enhanced toward the QCP, implying that the pairing interaction is significantly strengthened via nematic fluctuations emanating from the QCP. Remarkably, this nematic QCP is not accompanied by a divergent effective mass, distinct from the magnetically mediated pairing. Our observation opens up a nematic route to high-temperature superconductivity.


Publication: Physical Review X

Title: Enhanced superconducting pairing strength near a pure nematic quantum critical Point

Authors: Kiyotaka Mukasa, Kousuke Ishida*, Shusaku Imajo, Mingwei Qiu, Mikihiko Saito, Kohei Matsuura, Yuichi Sugimura, Supeng Liu, Yu Uezono, Takumi Otsuka, Matija Čulo, Shigeru Kasahara, Yuji Matsuda, Nigel E. Hussey, Takao Watanabe, Koichi Kindo, and Takasada Shibauchi*

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.13.011032


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