Nematic Quantum Critical Fluctuations in BaFe2−xNixAs2
We have systematically studied the nematic fluctuations in the electron-doped iron-based superconductor BaFe2−xNixAs2 by measuring the in-plane resistance change under uniaxial pressure. While the nematic quantum critical point can be identified through the measurements along the (110) direction, as studied previously, quantum and thermal critical fluctuations cannot be distinguished due to similar Curie-Weiss-like behaviors. Here we find that a sizable pressure-dependent resistivity along the (100) direction is present in all doping levels, which is against the simple picture of an Ising-type nematic model. The signal along the (100) direction becomes maximum at optimal doping, suggesting that it is associated with nematic quantum critical fluctuations. Our results indicate that thermal fluctuations from striped antiferromagnetic order dominate the underdoped regime along the (110) direction. We argue that either there is a strong coupling between the quantum critical fluctuations and the fermions, or more exotically, a higher symmetry may be present around optimal doping.