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Electronic nematicity above the structural and superconducting transition in BaFe$$_2$$(As$$_{1-x}$$P$$_x$$)$$_2$$

Kasahara, Shigeru*; Shi, H. J.*; Hashimoto, Kenichiro*; Tonegawa, Sho*; Mizukami, Yuta*; Shibauchi, Takasada*; Sugimoto, Kunihisa*; Fukuda, Tatsuo; Terashima, Takahito*; Nevidomskyy, A. H.*; Matsuda, Yuji*

The electron nematicity, which break rotational symmetry of the crystal lattice, has been recently observed in high-$$T_c$$ superconductors. In iron-pnictides, it has been associated with the tetragonal-to-orthorhombic structural transition at $$T_s$$, and the observations has been limited in the orthorhombic phase or in the tetragonal phase under uniaxial strain. In this investigation we provide magnetic torque measurements, a thermodynamic evidence which clearly shows the development of nematicity well above $$T_s$$ and the persistence in the nonmagnetic superconducting regime. Combined with synchrotron X-ray measurements, our results identify two distinct temperatures-one at $$T^ast$$, signifying a true nematic transition, and the other at $$T_s$$ ($$< T^ast$$), which we show to be not a true phase transition, but rather what we refer to as a "meta-nematic transition", in analogy to the well-known metamagnetic transition in the theory of magnetism.

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