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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 164916, 7 pages
Review Article

Spin-Lattice Coupling and Superconductivity in Fe Pnictides

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
3Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
4Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg 69120, Germany

Received 19 July 2009; Revised 25 October 2009; Accepted 22 December 2009

Academic Editor: Igor Mazin

Copyright © 2010 T. Egami et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We consider strong spin-lattice and spin-phonon coupling in iron pnictides and discuss its implications on superconductivity. Strong magneto-volume effect in iron compounds has long been known as the Invar effect. Fe pnictides also exhibit this effect, reflected in particular on the dependence of the magnetic moment on the atomic volume of Fe defined by the positions of the nearest neighbor atoms. Through the phenomenological Landau theory, developed on the basis of the calculations by the density functional theory (DFT) and the experimental results, we quantify the strength of the spin-lattice interaction as it relates to the Stoner criterion for the onset of magnetism. We suggest that the coupling between electrons and phonons through the spin channel may be sufficiently strong to be an important part of the superconductivity mechanism in Fe pnictides.