Chin. Phys. Lett.  2018, Vol. 35 Issue (5): 057402    DOI: 10.1088/0256-307X/35/5/057402
Electronic Phase Separation in Iron Selenide (Li,Fe)OHFeSe Superconductor System
Yiyuan Mao1,2,3†, Jun Li4†, Yulong Huan1,2,3†, Jie Yuan1,3, Zi-an Li1,3, Ke Chai5, Mingwei Ma1,3, Shunli Ni1,2, Jinpeng Tian1,2, Shaobo Liu1,2, Huaxue Zhou1, Fang Zhou1,2, Jianqi Li1,2,3, Guangming Zhang6, Kui Jin1,2,3, Xiaoli Dong1,2,3**, Zhongxian Zhao1,2,3**
1Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
3Key Laboratory for Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
4Research Institute of Superconductor Electronic, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093
5School of Physics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081
6State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084
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Yiyuan Mao, Jun Li, Yulong Huan et al  2018 Chin. Phys. Lett. 35 057402
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Abstract The phenomenon of phase separation into antiferromagnetic (AFM) and superconducting (SC) or normal-state regions has great implication for the origin of high-temperature (high-$T_{\rm c}$) superconductivity. However, the occurrence of an intrinsic antiferromagnetism above the $T_{\rm c}$ of (Li,Fe)OHFeSe superconductor is questioned. Here we report a systematic study on a series of (Li,Fe)OHFeSe single crystal samples with $T_{\rm c}$ up to $\sim$41 K. We observe an evident drop in the static magnetization at $T_{\rm afm} \sim 125$ K, in some of the SC ($T_{\rm c} \lesssim 38$ K, cell parameter $c \lesssim 9.27$ Å) and non-SC samples. We verify that this AFM signal is intrinsic to (Li,Fe)OHFeSe. Thus, our observations indicate mesoscopic-to-macroscopic coexistence of an AFM state with the normal (below $T_{\rm afm}$) or SC (below $T_{\rm c}$) state in (Li,Fe)OHFeSe. We explain such coexistence by electronic phase separation, similar to that in high-$T_{\rm c}$ cuprates and iron arsenides. However, such an AFM signal can be absent in some other samples of (Li,Fe)OHFeSe, particularly it is never observed in the SC samples of $T_{\rm c} \gtrsim 38$ K, owing to a spatial scale of the phase separation too small for the macroscopic magnetic probe. For this case, we propose a microscopic electronic phase separation. The occurrence of two-dimensional AFM spin fluctuations below nearly the same temperature as $T_{\rm afm}$, reported previously for a (Li,Fe)OHFeSe ($T_{\rm c} \sim 42$ K) single crystal, suggests that the microscopic static phase separation reaches vanishing point in high-$T_{\rm c}$ (Li,Fe)OHFeSe. A complete phase diagram is thus established. Our study provides key information of the underlying physics for high-$T_{\rm c}$ superconductivity.
Received: 04 April 2017      Published: 30 April 2018
PACS:  74.70.Xa (Pnictides and chalcogenides)  
  74.25.Dw (Superconductivity phase diagrams)  
  74.81.-g (Inhomogeneous superconductors and superconducting systems, including electronic inhomogeneities)  
  74.25.Ha (Magnetic properties including vortex structures and related phenomena)  
Fund: Supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant Nos 2017YFA0303003, 2016YFA0300300 and 2015CB921000, the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos 11574370, 11474338, 11674374 and 61501220, the Strategic Priority Research Program and Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences under Grant Nos QYZDY-SSW-SLH001, QYZDY-SSW-SLH008 and XDB07020100, and the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Project under Grant No Z161100002116011.
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Yiyuan Mao
Jun Li
Yulong Huan
Jie Yuan
Zi-an Li
Ke Chai
Mingwei Ma
Shunli Ni
Jinpeng Tian
Shaobo Liu
Huaxue Zhou
Fang Zhou
Jianqi Li
Guangming Zhang
Kui Jin
Xiaoli Dong
Zhongxian Zhao
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