Imaging orbital-selective quasiparticles in the Hund’s metal state of FeSe

Kostin, A. and Sprau, P.O. and Kreisel, A. and Chong, Y.X. and Böhmer, A.E. and Canfield, P.C. and Hirschfeld, P.J. and Andersen, B.M. and Davis, J.C.S.

Volume: 17 Pages: 869-874
DOI: 10.1038/s41563-018-0151-0
Published: 2018

Strong electronic correlations, emerging from the parent Mott insulator phase, are key to copper-based high-temperature superconductivity. By contrast, the parent phase of an iron-based high-temperature superconductor is never a correlated insulator. However, this distinction may be deceptive because Fe has five actived d orbitals while Cu has only one. In theory, such orbital multiplicity can generate a Hund’s metal state, in which alignment of the Fe spins suppresses inter-orbital fluctuations, producing orbitally selective strong correlations. The spectral weights Zm of quasiparticles associated with different Fe orbitals m should then be radically different. Here we use quasiparticle scattering interference resolved by orbital content to explore these predictions in FeSe. Signatures of strong, orbitally selective differences of quasiparticle Zm appear on all detectable bands over a wide energy range. Further, the quasiparticle interference amplitudes reveal that Zx y< Zx z≪ Zy z, consistent with earlier orbital-selective Cooper pairing studies. Thus, orbital-selective strong correlations dominate the parent state of iron-based high-temperature superconductivity in FeSe. © 2018, The Author(s).

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