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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Strong electronic nematic fluctuations have been discovered near optimal doping for several families of Fe-based superconductors, motivating the search for a possible link between these fluctuations, nematic quantum criticality, and high temperature superconductivity. Here we probe a key prediction of quantum criticality, namely power-law dependence of the associated nematic susceptibility as a function of composition and temperature approaching the compositionally tuned putative quantum critical point. To probe the ‘bare’ quantum critical point requires suppression of the superconducting state, which we achieve by using large magnetic fields, up to 45 T, while performing elastoresistivity measurements to follow the nematic susceptibility. We performed these measurements for the prototypical electron-doped pnictide, Ba(Fe1−xCox)2As2, over a dense comb of dopings. We find that close to the putative quantum critical point, the elastoresistivity appears to obey power-law behavior as a function of composition over almost a decade of variation in composition. Paradoxically, however, we also find that the temperature dependence for compositions close to the critical value cannot be described by a single power law.