Energy dependence of the spin excitation anisotropy in uniaxial-strained BaFe1.9Ni0.1As2
We use inelastic neutron scattering to study the temperature and energy dependence of the spin excitation anisotropy in uniaxial-strained electron-doped iron pnictide BaFe1.9Ni0.1As2 near optimal superconductivity (Tc=20K). Our work has been motivated by the observation of in-plane resistivity anisotropy in the paramagnetic tetragonal phase of electron-underdoped iron pnictides under uniaxial pressure, which has been attributed to a spin-driven Ising-nematic state or orbital ordering. Here we show that the spin excitation anisotropy, a signature of the spin-driven Ising-nematic phase, exists for energies below ∼60 meV in uniaxial-strained BaFe1.9Ni0.1As2. Since this energy scale is considerably larger than the energy splitting of the dxz and dyz bands of uniaxial-strained Ba(Fe1−xCox)2As2 near optimal superconductivity, spin Ising-nematic correlations are likely the driving force for the resistivity anisotropy and associated electronic nematic correlations.