Magnetic and Ising quantum phase transitions in a model for isoelectronically tuned iron pnictides
Considerations of the observed bad-metal behavior in Fe-based superconductors led to an early proposal for quantum criticality induced by isoelectronic P for As doping in iron arsenides, which has since been experimentally confirmed. We study here an effective model for the isoelectronically tuned pnictides using a large-N approach. The model contains antiferromagnetic and Ising-nematic order parameters appropriate for J1−J2 exchange-coupled local moments on an Fe square lattice, and a damping caused by coupling to itinerant electrons. The zero-temperature magnetic and Ising transitions are concurrent and essentially continuous. The order-parameter jumps are very small, and are further reduced by the interplane coupling; consequently, quantum criticality occurs over a wide dynamical range. Our results reconcile recent seemingly contradictory experimental observations concerning the quantum phase transition in the P-doped iron arsenides.