Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study helps unlock mystery of high-temp superconductors


A Binghamton University physicist and his colleagues say they have unlocked one key mystery surrounding high-temperature superconductivity.

Their research, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found a remarkable phenomenon in copper-oxide (cuprate) high-temperature superconductors.

Michael Lawler, assistant professor of physics at Binghamton, is part of an international team of physicists with an ongoing interest in the mysterious pseudogap phase, the phase situated between insulating and superconducting phases in the cuprate phase diagram.

"Evidence has been accumulating that this phase supports an exotic density wave state that may be key to its existence," the physicists write in the new journal article. A density wave forms in a metal if the fluid electrons themselves crystalize.

Using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to visualize the electronic structure of the oxygen sites within a superconductor, the team found a density wave with a d-orbital structure. (The electron density near each copper atom looks a bit like a daisy in the crystallized pattern.) That’s especially surprising because most density waves have an s-orbital structure; their electron density is isotropic. "It’s not the pattern you would expect," Lawler says.

In this research, Lawler and his colleagues focused on a member of the cuprate class of superconductors called bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide (BSCCO). "We now believe these density waves exist in all cuprates," says Lawler, a theorist whose contribution to the research involved subtle uses of the Fourier transform, a mathematical analysis that’s useful when examining amplitude patterns in waves.

Superconductors conduct electricity without resistance below a certain temperature. For decades, it was thought that these materials could conduct electricity only at temperatures far below freezing. Since 1987, however, scientists have discovered several compounds that superconduct at much higher temperatures.

Development of this technology could lead to near lossless delivery of electricity to homes and businesses as well as to improvements in cell phone tower receptions and even high-speed trains.

Ryan Yarosh | Eurek Alert!
Further information:

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>