Unconventional superconductivity of NdFeAsO0.82F0.18 indicated by the low temperature dependence of the lower critical field Hc1
We measured the initial M–H curves for a sample of the newly discovered superconductor NdFeAsO0.82Fe0.18, which had a critical temperature, Tc, of 51 K and was fabricated at the high pressure of 6 GPa. The lower critical field, Hc1, was extracted from the deviation point of the Meissner linearity in the M–H curves, which show linear temperature dependence in the low temperature region down to 5 K. The Hc1(T) indicates no s-wave superconductivity, but rather an unconventional superconductivity with a nodal gap structure. Furthermore, the linearity of Hc1 at low temperature does not hold at high temperature, but shows other characteristics, indicating that this superconductor might have multi-gap features. Based on the low temperature nodal gap structure, we estimate that the maximum gap magnitude Δ0 = (1.6 ± 0.2) kBTc.