The superconducting state of iron pnictides and chalcogenides exists at the border of anti-ferromagnetic order. Consequently, these materials could provide clues about the relationship between magnetism and unconventional superconductivity. One explanation, motivated by the so-called bad metal behaviour of these materials proposes that magnetism and superconductivity develop out of quasi-localized magnetic moments that are generated by strong electron-electron correlations. Another suggests that these phenomena are the result of weakly interacting electron states that lie on nested Fermi surfaces. Here we address the issue by comparing the newly discovered alkaline iron selenide superconductors, which exhibit no Fermi-surface nesting, to their iron pnictide counterparts. We show that the strong-coupling approach leads to similar pairing amplitudes in these materials, despite their different Fermi surfaces. We also find that the pairing amplitudes are largest at the boundary between electronic localization and itinerancy, suggesting that new superconductors might be found in materials with similar characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)