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Sixfold Enhancement of Superconductivity in a Tunable Electronic Nematic System



Christoper Eckberg, Daniel J. Campbell, Tristin Metz, John Collini, Halyna Hodovanets, Tyler Drye, Peter Zavalij, Morten H. Christensen, Rafael M. Fernandes, Sangjun Lee, Peter Abbamonte, Jeffrey W. Lynn, Johnpierre Paglione


The electronic nematic phase, wherein electronic degrees of freedom lower the crystal rotational symmetry, is a common motif across a number of high-temperature superconductors. However, understanding the role and influence of nematicity and nematic fluctuations in Cooper pairing is often complicated by the coexistence of other orders, particularly long-range magnetic order. Here we report the enhancement of superconductivity in a model electronic nematic system absent of magnetism, and show that the enhancement is directly born out of strong nematic fluctuations emanating from a tuned quantum phase transition. We use elastoresistance measurements of the Ba1-xSrxNi2As2 substitution series to show that strontium substitution promotes an electronically driven B1g nematic order in this system, and that the complete suppression of that order to absolute zero temperature evokes a dramatic enhancement of the pairing strength, as evidenced by a sixfold increase in the superconducting transition temperature. The direct relation between enhanced pairing and nematic fluctuations in this model system, as well as the interplay with a unidirectional charge density wave order comparable to that found in the cuprates, offers a means to elucidate the role of nematicity in boosting superconductivity.
Nature Physics


Iron superconductors, electronic nematic phase, sixfold Tc increase, resistivity data, neutron diffraction


Eckberg, C. , Campbell, D. , Metz, T. , Collini, J. , Hodovanets, H. , Drye, T. , Zavalij, P. , Christensen, M. , Fernandes, R. , Lee, S. , Abbamonte, P. , Lynn, J. and Paglione, J. (2020), Sixfold Enhancement of Superconductivity in a Tunable Electronic Nematic System, Nature Physics, [online], (Accessed February 27, 2024)
Created February 29, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021