NMR Search for the Spin Nematic State in a LaFeAsO Single Crystal
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We report a (75)As single crystal NMR investigation of LaFeAsO, the parent phase of a pnictide high T(c) superconductor. We demonstrate that spin dynamics develop a strong twofold anisotropy within each orthorhombic domain below the tetragonal-orthorhombic structural phase transition at T(TO) ≈ 156 K. This intermediate state with a dynamical breaking of the rotational symmetry freezes progressively into a spin density wave below T(SDW) ≈ 142 K. Our findings are consistent with the presence of a spin nematic state below T(TO) with an incipient magnetic order.
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