We have studied local magnetic moment and electronic phase separation in superconducting KxFe2-ySe2 by x-ray emission and absorption spectroscopy. Detailed temperature-dependent measurements at the Fe K-edge have revealed coexisting electronic phases and their correlation with the transport properties. By cooling down, the local magnetic moment of Fe shows a sharp drop across the superconducting transition temperature (Tc) and the coexisting phases exchange spectral weights with the low-spin state, gaining intensity at the expense of the higher-spin state. After annealing the sample across the iron-vacancy order temperature, the system does not recover the initial state and the spectral weight anomaly at Tc as well as superconductivity disappear. The results clearly underline that the coexistence of the low-spin and high-spin phases and the transitions between them provide unusual magnetic fluctuations and have a fundamental role in the superconducting mechanism of the electronically inhomogeneous KxFe2-ySe2 system.
|Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
|Published - 2014 Dec 17
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics