Effects of Electron Irradiation on Resistivity and London Penetration Depth of Ba₁₋ₓKₓFe₂As₂ (x ≤ 0.34) Iron-Pnictide Superconductor


Irradiation with 2.5 MeV electrons at doses up to 5.2 x 1019 electrons/cm2 was used to introduce pointlike defects in single crystals of Ba1-xKxFe2As2 with x = 0.19 (Tc=14K),0.26 (Tc=32K), 0.32 (Tc=37K), and 0.34 (Tc=39K) to study the superconducting gap structure by probing the effect of nonmagnetic scattering on electrical resistivity ρ(T) and London penetration depth λ(T). For all compositions, the irradiation suppressed the superconducting transition temperature Tc and increased resistivity. The low-temperature behavior of λ(T) is best described by the power-law function, Δλ(T)=A(T/Tc)n. While substantial suppression of Tc supports s± pairing, in samples close to the optimal doping, x = 0.26, 0.32, and 0.34, the exponent n remained high (n ≥ 3), indicating almost exponential attenuation and thus a robust full superconducting gap. For the x = 0.19 composition, which exhibits coexistence of superconductivity and long-range magnetism, the suppression of Tc was much more rapid, and the exponent n decreased toward the s± dirty limit of n = 2. In this sample, the irradiation also suppressed the temperature of structural/magnetic transition Tsm from 103 to 98 K, consistent with the itinerant nature of the long-range magnetic order. Our results suggest that underdoped compositions, especially in the coexisting regime, are most susceptible to nonmagnetic scattering and imply that in multiband Ba1-xKxFe2As2 superconductors, the ratio of the interband to intraband pairing strength, as well as the related gap anisotropy, increases upon the departure from the optimal doping.



International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1550-235X; 1098-0121

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Article - Journal

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© 2014 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

19 Sep 2014