Role of Nematicity in Controlling Spin Fluctuations and Superconducting Tc in Bulk FeSe

Swagata Acharya, Dimitar Pashov, Mark van Schilfgaarde

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4 Scopus Citations


FeSe undergoes a transition from a tetragonal to a slightly orthorhombic phase at 90 K and becomes a superconductor below 8 K. The orthorhombic phase is sometimes called a nematic phase because quantum oscillation, neutron, and other measurements detect a significant asymmetry in x and y. How nematicity affects superconductivity has recently become a matter of intense speculation. Here, we employ an advanced ab initio Green's function description of superconductivity and show that bulk tetragonal FeSe would, in principle, superconduct with almost the same critical temperature Tc as the nematic phase. The mechanism driving the observed nematicity is not yet understood. Since the present theory underestimates it, we simulate the full nematic asymmetry by artificially enhancing the orthorhombic distortion. For benchmarking, we compare theoretical spin susceptibilities against experimentally observed data over all energies and relevant momenta. When the orthorhombic distortion is adjusted to correlate with observed nematicity in spin susceptibility, the enhanced nematicity causes spectral weight redistribution in the Fe-3dxz and Fe-dyz orbitals, but it leads to at most a 10-15% increment in Tc. This is because the dxy orbital always remains the most strongly correlated and provides most of the source of the superconducting glue. Nematicity suppresses the density of states at the Fermi level; nevertheless, Tc increases, in contradiction to both BCS theory and the theory of Bose-Einstein condensation. We show how the increase is connected to the structure of the particle-particle vertex. Our results suggest that while nematicity may be an intrinsic property of bulk FeSe, it is not the primary force driving the superconducting pairing.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number144507
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Physical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5F00-84107


  • bulk FeSe
  • nematicity
  • strongly correlated electrons
  • superconductivity


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