Influence of multiband sign-changing superconductivity on vortex cores and vortex pinning in stoichiometric high-Tc CaKFe4 As4

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2018-04-01
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Fente, Antón
Meier, William
Kong, Tai
Kogan, Vladimir
Bud’ko, Sergey
Guillamón, Isabel
Suderow, Hermann
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Canfield, Paul
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Abstract

We use a scanning tunneling microscope to study the superconducting density of states and vortex lattice of single crystals of CaKFe 4 As 4 . This material has a critical temperature of T c = 35 K, one of the highest among stoichiometric iron based superconductors (FeBSCs), and is comparable to T c found near optimal doping in other FeBSCs. We observe quasiparticle scattering from defects with a pattern related to interband scattering between zone centered hole sheets. We measure the tunneling conductance in vortex cores and find a peak due to Caroli–de Gennes–Matricon bound states. The peak is located above the Fermi level, showing that CaKFe 4 As 4 is a clean superconductor with vortex core bound states close to the so-called extreme quantum limit. We identify locations where the superconducting order parameter is strongly suppressed due to pair breaking. Vortices are pinned at these locations, and the length scale of the suppression of the order parameter is of order of the vortex core size. As a consequence, the vortex lattice is disordered up to 8 T.

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