High-precision measurements of magnetic penetration depth λ in clean single crystals of LiFeAs and LiFeP superconductors reveal contrasting behaviors. In LiFeAs the low-temperature λ(T) shows a flat dependence indicative of a fully gapped state, which is consistent with previous studies. In contrast, LiFeP exhibits a T-linear dependence of superfluid density λ -2, indicating a nodal superconducting order parameter. A systematic comparison of quasiparticle excitations in the 1111, 122, and 111 families of iron-pnictide superconductors implies that the nodal state is induced when the pnictogen height from the iron plane decreases below a threshold value of ∼1.33.
ASJC Scopus subject areas