How many quantum phase transitions exist inside the superconducting dome of the iron pnictides?

Rafael M. Fernandes, Saurabh Maiti, Peter Wölfle, Andrey V. Chubukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent experiments on two iron-pnictide families suggest the existence of a single quantum phase transition inside the superconducting dome despite the fact that two separate transition lines - magnetic and nematic - cross the superconducting dome at Tc. Here we argue that these two observations are actually consistent. We show, using a microscopic model, that each order coexists with superconductivity for a wide range of parameters, and both transition lines continue into the superconducting dome below Tc. However, at some Tmerge<Tc, the two transitions merge and continue down to T=0 as a single simultaneous first-order nematic-magnetic transition. We show that superconductivity has a profound effect on the character of this first-order transition, rendering it weakly first order and allowing strong fluctuations to exist near the quantum phase transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number057001
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume111
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 29 2013

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