Iron-based high-temp superconductors show unexpected electronic asymmetry: Prior studies have shown that as HTS materials are cooled, they pass through a series of intermediate electronic phases before they reach the superconducting phase. To help see these "phase changes" at a glance, physicists like Nevidomskyy often use graphs called "phase diagrams" that show the particular phase an HTS will occupy based on its temperature and chemical doping.
"With this new evidence, it is clear that the nematicity exists all the way into the superconducting region and not just in the vicinity of the magnetic phase, as it had been previously understood," said Nevidomskyy, in reference to the line representing the boundary of the nematic order. "Perhaps the biggest discovery of this study is that this line extends all the way to the superconducting phase."
He said another intriguing result is that the phase diagram for the barium iron arsenide bears a striking resemblance to the phase diagram for copper-based high-temperature superconductors.