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Title: Magnetic dynamics in iron-based superconductors probed by neutron spectroscopy
Author: Taylor, Alice Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis describes inelastic neutron scattering (INS) experiments on several iron-based materials. The experiments were primarily designed to investigate the link between magnetic dynamics and superconductivity. The work contributes to evidence that magnetic fluctuations influence or are influenced by superconductivity. It is demonstrated that the INS response of a material, in conjunction with theoretical models, can provide valuable information about both superconductivity and magnetism. I measured the magnetically ordered parent-compound SrFe2As2 to investigate the nature of magnetism in iron-based systems. Comparison of the data to models based on both itinerant and localised magnetism showed that an itinerant model offers the best description of the data. LiFeAs is a superconductor that shows no magnetic order, however I was able to distinguish a magnetic signal in its INS spectrum. The signal is consistent with the magnetic resonance observed in several other iron-based superconductors. This indicates that LiFeAs likely hosts an s± gap symmetry. I investigated two iron-phosphide systems, LaFePO and Sr2ScO3FeP, and in this case I was unable to identify any magnetic scattering. Comparison to LiFeAs showed that any signal in LaFePO is at least 7 times weaker. These results suggest that magnetic fluctuations are not as influential to the electronic properties of iron-phosphide systems as they are in other iron-based superconductors. In CsxFe2−ySe2 I found two independent signals that appear to be related to phase-separated magnetic and superconducting regions of the sample. I showed that fluctuations associated with the magnetically ordered phase are consistent with localised magnetism, and do not respond to superconductivity. The second signal, however, increases in intensity below the superconducting transition temperature Tc = 27K, consistent with a magnetic resonance. This could be indicative of a pairing symmetry in CsxFe2−ySe2 that is distinct from most other iron-based superconductors. Finally, the molecular intercalated FeSe compound Li0.6(ND2)0.2(ND3)0.8Fe2Se2 revealed strong magnetic fluctuations. Again the signal was consistent with a magnetic resonance responding to Tc = 43 K. The results suggest that Lix(ND2)y(ND3)1−yFe2Se2 is similar to the superconducting phase of CsxFe2−ySe2, placing constraints on theoretical models to describe the molecular intercalated FeSe compounds.
Supervisor: Boothroyd, Andrew T. Sponsor: EPSRC ; STFC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Condensed Matter Physics ; Superconductivity ; Magnetism ; Neutron Scattering ; Iron-based Superconductors