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Quantum Phase Transition of Correlated Iron-Based Superconductivity in LiFe1-xCoxAs

Title
Quantum Phase Transition of Correlated Iron-Based Superconductivity in LiFe1-xCoxAs
Authors
BANG, YUNKYU
Date Issued
Nov-2019
Publisher
American Physical Society
Abstract
The interplay between unconventional Cooper pairing and quantum states associated with atomic scale defects is a frontier of research with many open questions. So far, only a few of the high-temperature superconductors allow this intricate physics to be studied in a widely tunable way. We use scanning tunneling microscopy to image the electronic impact of Co atoms on the ground state of the LiFe1−xCoxAs system. We observe that impurities progressively suppress the global superconducting gap and introduce low energy states near the gap edge, with the superconductivity remaining in the strong-coupling limit. Unexpectedly, the fully opened gap evolves into a nodal state before the Cooper pair coherence is fully destroyed. Our systematic theoretical analysis shows that these new observations can be quantitatively understood by the nonmagnetic Born-limit scattering effect in an s-wave superconductor, unveiling the driving force of the superconductor to metal quantum phase transition.
Keywords
Arsenic compounds; Ground state; Iron; Iron compounds; Lithium compounds; Phase transitions; Quantum theory; Scanning tunneling microscopy; Atomic-scale defects; Electronic impact; Low-energy state; Quantum phase transitions; Scattering effects; Strong coupling; Superconducting gaps; Wave superconductors; Iron-based Superconductors
URI
http://oasis.postech.ac.kr/handle/2014.oak/100065
ISSN
0031-9007
Article Type
Article
Citation
Physical Review Letters, vol. 123, no. 21, page. 217004 - 217004, 2019-11
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