Ultrafast structural dynamics of the orthorhombic distortion in the Fe-pnictide parent compound BaFe2As2
Using femtosecond time-resolved hard x-ray diffraction, we investigate the structural dynamics of the orthorhombic distortion in the Fe-pnictide parent compound BaFe2As2. The orthorhombic distortion analyzed by the transient splitting of the (1 0 3) Bragg reflection is suppressed on an initial timescale of 35 ps, which is much slower than the suppression of magnetic and nematic order. This observation demonstrates a transient state with persistent structural distortion and suppressed magnetic/nematic order which are strongly linked in thermal equilibrium. We suggest a way of quantifying the coupling between structural and nematic degrees of freedom based on the dynamics of the respective order parameters. (C) 2016 Author(s).