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Strong interplay between stripe spin fluctuations, nematicity and superconductivity in FeSe

An Erratum to this article was published on 22 January 2016

This article has been updated


In iron-based superconductors the interactions driving the nematic order (that breaks four-fold rotational symmetry in the iron plane) may also mediate the Cooper pairing1. The experimental determination of these interactions, which are believed to depend on the orbital or the spin degrees of freedom1,2,3,4, is challenging because nematic order occurs at, or slightly above, the ordering temperature of a stripe magnetic phase1,5. Here, we study FeSe (ref. 6)—which exhibits a nematic (orthorhombic) phase transition at Ts = 90 K without antiferromagnetic ordering—by neutron scattering, finding substantial stripe spin fluctuations coupled with the nematicity that are enhanced abruptly on cooling through Ts. A sharp spin resonance develops in the superconducting state, whose energy (4 meV) is consistent with an electron–boson coupling mode revealed by scanning tunnelling spectroscopy7. The magnetic spectral weight in FeSe is found to be comparable to that of the iron arsenides8,9. Our results support recent theoretical proposals that both nematicity and superconductivity are driven by spin fluctuations1,10,11,12,13.

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Figure 1: Orthorhombic crystal structure, magnetic susceptibility, χ, and resistivity, ρ, of FeSe single crystal.
Figure 2: Structure phase transition and momentum dependence of the spin fluctuations at various temperatures in FeSe.
Figure 3: Energy dependence of spin fluctuations for FeSe in the superconducting state (T = 1.5 K) and normal state (T = 11 and 110 K).
Figure 4: Temperature dependence of spin fluctuations in FeSe.

Change history

  • 15 December 2015

    In the original version of this Letter published online, the x axis of Fig. 2a was labelled incorrectly. In addition, tick labels have been added to the x axes of Fig. 2b and Fig. 2d. This has been corrected in all versions of the Letter.


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We thank D. H. Lee, Q. Si, F. Wang and H. Yao for useful discussions. This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11374059), the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (973 project: 2015CB921302) and the Shanghai Pujiang Scholar Program (Grant No. 13PJ1401100). M.M. and F.Z. acknowledge support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11190020). H.C. received support from the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy. A.N.V. was supported in part by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation in the framework of Increase Competitiveness Program of NUST 〈MISiS〉 (No. 2-2014-036). D.A.C. and A.N.V. also acknowledge the support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research through Grants 13-02-00174, 14-02-92002, 14-02-92693.

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J.Z. planned the project. M.M., F.Z., D.A.C. and A.N.V. synthesized the sample. Q.W., Y. Shen, B.P., Y.H., M.A.-H. and X.C. characterized the sample. Q.W. and Y. Shen. carried out the neutron experiments with experimental assistance from P.S., K.S., T.R.F., P.B., Y. Sidis and H.C. J.Z. and Q.W. analysed the data and wrote the paper. All authors provided comments for the paper.

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Correspondence to Jun Zhao.

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Wang, Q., Shen, Y., Pan, B. et al. Strong interplay between stripe spin fluctuations, nematicity and superconductivity in FeSe. Nature Mater 15, 159–163 (2016).

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