Article open access publication

Impact of iron-site defects on superconductivity in LiFeAs

Physical Review B, American Physical Society (APS), ISSN 1095-3795

Volume 94, 13, 2016

DOI:10.1103/physrevb.94.134515, Dimensions: pub.1060652429,



  1. (1) University of British Columbia, grid.17091.3e
  2. (2) University of St Andrews, grid.11914.3c
  3. (3) Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, grid.419552.e
  4. (4) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  5. (5) Louisiana State University, grid.64337.35
  6. (6) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, grid.135519.a
  7. (7) Brookhaven National Laboratory, grid.202665.5
  8. (8) Shanghai Jiao Tong University, grid.16821.3c
  9. (9) University of Florida, grid.15276.37


In conventional s-wave superconductors, only magnetic impurities exhibit impurity bound states, whereas for an s± order parameter they can occur for both magnetic and nonmagnetic impurities. Impurity bound states in superconductors can thus provide important insight into the order parameter. Here, we present a combined experimental and theoretical study of native and engineered iron-site defects in LiFeAs. A detailed comparison of tunneling spectra measured on impurities with spin-fluctuation theory reveals a continuous evolution from negligible impurity-bound-state features for weaker scattering potential to clearly detectable states for somewhat stronger scattering potentials. All bound states for these intermediate strength potentials are pinned at or close to the gap edge of the smaller gap, a phenomenon that we explain and ascribe to multiorbital physics.


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Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 7.89

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