Discovery of orbital-selective Cooper pairing in FeSe

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Abstract

The superconductor iron selenide (FeSe) is of intense interest owing to its unusual nonmagnetic nematic state and potential for high-temperature superconductivity. But its Cooper pairing mechanism has not been determined. We used Bogoliubov quasiparticle interference imaging to determine the Fermi surface geometry of the electronic bands surrounding the Γ = (0, 0) and X = (π/aFe, 0) points of FeSe and to measure the corresponding superconducting energy gaps. We show that both gaps are extremely anisotropic but nodeless and that they exhibit gap maxima oriented orthogonally in momentum space. Moreover, by implementing a novel technique, we demonstrate that these gaps have opposite sign with respect to each other. This complex gap configuration reveals the existence of orbital-selective Cooper pairing that, in FeSe, is based preferentially on electrons from the dyz orbitals of the iron atoms.

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