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Imaging the local electronic and magnetic properties of intrinsically phase separated RbxFe2-ySe2 superconductor using scanning microscopy techniques

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6668/aaffa8 DOI Help

Authors: Pavel Dudin (Diamond Light Source) , Dominic Herriott (University of Oxford) , Timothy Davies (University of Oxford) , Anna Krzton-maziopa (Warsaw University of Technology) , Ekaterina Pomjakushina (Paul Scherrer Institute) , Kazimierz Conder (Paul Scherrer Institute) , Cephise Cacho (Diamond Light Source; Central Laser Facility) , Jonathan R. Yates (University of Oxford) , Susannah C. Speller (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Superconductor Science And Technology

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 19816

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The discovery in 2008 of the iron-based superconducting pnictide and chalcogenide compounds has provided an entirely new family of materials for studying the crucial interplay between superconductivity and magnetism in unconventional superconductors. The alkali-metal-intercalated iron selenide (AxFe2-ySe2, A = alkali metal) superconductors are of particular interest owing to their relatively high transition temperatures of 30 K and the co-existence of the superconducting state with antiferromagnetic ordering. Intrinsic phase separation on the mesoscopic scale is known to occur in "single crystals" of these compounds, adding to the complexity of interpretation of bulk property measurements. In this study, we investigate the local electronic structure and chemistry of RbxFe2-ySe2 crystals using scanning microscopy techniques. Nano-focussed angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (NanoARPES) has enabled the band structure of the minority superconducting phase and the non- superconducting matrix to be measured independently and linked to the surface chemistry from the same regions using core-level spectroscopy. Valence band mapping reveals the characteristic microstructure of these crystals, but does not have sucient spatial resolution to enable the precise morphology of the superconducting phase to be elucidated. Cryogenic magnetic force microscopy (MFM) has shown that the superconducting phase has a fine-scale stripey morphology that was not resolved in the SPEM experiment. The correlation of these findings with previous microstructural studies, bulk measurements and first-principles DFT calculations paves the way for understanding the intriguing electronic and magnetic properties of these compounds.

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics


Instruments: I05-ARPES

Other Facilities: Soleil

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