Novel electronic nematicity in heavily hole-doped iron pnictide superconductors

Kousuke Ishida, Masaya Tsujii, Suguru Hosoi, Yuta Mizukami, Shigeyuki Ishida, Akira Iyo, Hiroshi Eisaki, Thomas Wolf, Kai Grube, Hilbert V. Löhneysen, Rafael M. Fernandes, Takasada Shibauchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic nematicity, a correlated state that spontaneously breaks rotational symmetry, is observed in several layered quantum materials. In contrast to their liquid-crystal counterparts, the nematic director cannot usually point in an arbitrary direction (XY nematics), but is locked by the crystal to discrete directions (Ising nematics), resulting in strongly anisotropic fluctuations above the transition. Here, we report on the observation of nearly isotropic XY-nematic fluctuations, via elastoresistance measurements, in hole-doped Ba1xRbxFe2As2 iron-based superconductors. While for x = 0, the nematic director points along the in-plane diagonals of the tetragonal lattice, for x = 1, it points along the horizontal and vertical axes. Remarkably, for intermediate doping, the susceptibilities of these two symmetry-irreducible nematic channels display comparable Curie-Weiss behavior, thus revealing a nearly XY-nematic state. This opens a route to assess this elusive electronic quantum liquid-crystalline state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6424-6429
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 24
Externally publishedYes


  • Electronic nematicity
  • Iron-based superconductors
  • Nematic susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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