In the initial studies of a new class of high-temperature superconductors discovered earlier this year, research at the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has revealed that new iron-based superconductors share similar unusual magnetic properties with previously known superconducting copper-oxide materials. The research appears in the May 28 Advanced Online Publication of the journal Nature.
These superconductors may one day enable energy and environmental gains because they could significantly heighten the efficiency of transferring electricity over the electric grid or storing electricity in off-peak hours for later use.“While we still do not understand how magnetism and superconductivity are related in copper-oxide superconductors,” explains NIST Fellow Jeffrey Lynn at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), “our measurements show that the new iron-based materials share what seems to be a critical interplay between magnetism and superconductivity.”
By contrast, copper-oxide superconductors, discovered in 1986, tolerate higher magnetic fields at higher temperatures. The highest performance copper-oxide superconductors conduct electricity without resistance when cooled to "transition temperatures" below 140 Kelvin (-133 Celsius) and can simply and cheaply be cooled by liquid nitrogen to 77 Kelvin or (-196 Celsius).
Japanese researchers discovered earlier this year that a new class of iron-based superconducting materials also had much higher transition temperatures than the conventional low-temperature superconductors. The discovery sent physicists and materials scientists into a renewed frenzy of activity reminiscent of the excitement brought on by the discovery of the first high-temperature superconductors over 20 years ago.
Earlier work on the copper-oxide superconductors revealed that they consist of magnetically active copper-oxygen layers, separated by layers of non-magnetic materials. By “doping,” or adding different elements to the non-magnetic layers of this normally insulating material, researchers can manipulate the magnetism to achieve electrical conduction and then superconductivity.
The group of scientists studying the iron-based superconductors used the NCNR, a facility that uses intense beams of neutral particles called neutrons to probe the atomic and magnetic structure of the new material.
As neutrons probed the iron-based sample supplied by materials scientists in Beijing, they revealed a magnetism that is similar to that found in copper-oxide superconductors, that is, layers of magnetic moments—like many individual bar magnets—interspersed with layers of nonmagnetic material. Lynn notes that the layered atomic structure of the iron-based systems, like the copper-oxide materials, makes it unlikely that these similarities are an accident.
One of the exciting aspects of these new superconductors is that they belong to a comprehensive class of materials where many chemical substitutions are possible. This versatility is already opening up new research avenues to understand the origin of the superconductivity, and should also enable the superconducting properties to be tailored for commercial technologies.
Evelyn Brown | EurekAlert!
Custom sequences for polymers using visible light
22.03.2018 | Tokyo Metropolitan University
The search for dark matter widens
21.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences