Orbitally and magnetically induced anisotropy in iron-based superconductors

Weicheng Lv, Philip Phillips

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Recent experimental developments in the iron pnictides have unambiguously demonstrated the existence of in-plane electronic anisotropy in the absence of the long-range magnetic order. Such anisotropy can arise from orbital ordering, which is described by an energy splitting between the two otherwise degenerate dxz and dyz orbitals. By including this phenomenological orbital order into a five-orbital Hubbard model, we obtain the mean-field solutions where the magnetic order is determined self-consistently. Despite sensitivity of the resulting states to the input parameters, we find that a weak orbital order that places the dyz orbital slightly higher in energy than the dxz orbital, combined with intermediate on-site interactions, produces band dispersions that are compatible with the photoemission results. In this regime, the stripe antiferromagnetic order is further stabilized and the resistivity displays the observed anisotropy. We also calculate the optical conductivity and show that it agrees with the temperature evolution of the anisotropy seen experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174512
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 18 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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