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A key role for unusual spin dynamics in ferropnictides


The discovery of high-Tc ferropnictides introduced a new family of superconductors, and has already revealed a complicated and often contradictory picture of the structural and magnetic properties. An almost unprecedented sensitivity of the calculated magnetism and Fermi surface to structural details prevents correspondence to experiment. Experimental probes of the order parameter are in surprisingly strong disagreement, even considering the relative immaturity of the field. We outline various and seemingly contradictory evidence, both theoretical and experimental, and show it can be rectified by assuming a large-moment spin density wave, well defined but with magnetic twin and antiphase boundaries, dynamic on the experimental timescale. Under this assumption, calculations can accurately reproduce even very fine details of the structure, and a natural explanation for the temperature separation of structural and magnetic transitions is provided. Thus, our theory restores agreement between experiment and theory in crucial areas, making further cooperative progress possible on both fronts.

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Figure 1: Representative ferropnictide in-plane magnetic domains.

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Correspondence to M. D. Johannes.

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Mazin, I., Johannes, M. A key role for unusual spin dynamics in ferropnictides. Nature Phys 5, 141–145 (2009).

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