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Physics and Astronomy, Ames Laboratory

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Recent experiments in iron pnictide superconductors reveal that, as the putative magnetic quantum critical point is approached, different types of magnetic order coexist over a narrow region of the phase diagram. Although these magnetic configurations share the same wave-vectors, they break distinct symmetries of the lattice. Importantly, the highest superconducting transition temperature takes place close to this proliferation of near-degenerate magnetic states. In this paper, we employ a renormalization group calculation to show that such a behavior naturally arises due to the effects of spin-orbit coupling on the quantum magnetic fluctuations. Formally, the enhanced magnetic degeneracy near the quantum critical point is manifested as a stable Gaussian fixed point with a large basin of attraction. Implications of our findings to the superconductivity of the iron pnictides are also discussed.


This is a manuscript of the article Christensen, Morten H., Peter P. Orth, Brian M. Andersen, and Rafael M. Fernandes. "Emergent magnetic degeneracy in iron pnictides due to the interplay between spin-orbit coupling and quantum fluctuations." arXiv preprint arXiv:1712.07188v3 (2018). Posted with permission.

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