“There have been more than 60,000 papers published on high-temperature superconductive material since its discovery in 1986,” said Jak Chakhalian, professor of physics at the University of Arkansas.
“Unfortunately, as of today we have zero theoretical understanding of the mechanism behind this enigmatic phenomenon. In my mind, the high-temperature superconductivity is the most important unsolved mystery of condensed matter physics.”
Superconductivity is a phenomenon that occurs in certain materials when cooled to extremely low temperatures such as negative-435 degrees Fahrenheit. High-temperature superconductivity exists at negative-396 degrees Fahrenheit. In both cases electrical resistance drops to zero and complete expulsion of magnetic fields occurs.
Superconductors have the ability to transport large electrical currents and produce high magnetic fields, which means they hold great potential for electronic devices and power transmission.
The recent finding by the University of Arkansas-led team is important to further understand superconductivity, Chakhalian said.
An article detailing the finding, “Zhang-Rice physics and anomalous copper states in A-site ordered perovskites” was published Monday, May 13, in Scientific Reports, an online journal published by the journal Nature.
Derek Meyers, a doctoral student in physics at the U of A, found that the way electrons form in superconductive material — known as the Zhang-Rice singlet state — was present in a chemical compound that is very different from conventional superconductors.
“There is now a whole different class of materials where you can search for the enigmatic superconductivity,” Chakhalian said. “This is completely new because we know that the Zhang-Rice quantum state, which used to be the hallmark of this high-temperature superconductor, could be found in totally different crystal structures. Does it have a potential to become a novel superconductor? We don’t know but it has all the right ingredients.”
Meyers was the lead researcher. Srimanta Middey, a postdoctoral research associate at the university and Benjamin A. Gray, a doctoral student, performed the theoretical calculations and analyzed the experimental data obtained at the X-ray synchrotron at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.
In the mid-1980s, physicists determined that all high-temperature superconductive material must contain copper and oxygen and those elements arrange two-dimensionally.
In this material the electrons combine into a unique quantum state called the Zhang-Rice singlets, Chakhalian explained.
“I can make a closed circuit out of the superconducting material, cool it down and attach a battery that starts the flow of the electrons. The current goes around the loop. Then I detach it and leave it. Hypothetically, 1 billion years later the flow of electrons is guaranteed to be exactly the same — with no losses,” he said. “But the problem is we don’t know if we are even using it right. We have no microscopic understanding of what is behind it.”
For this project, Chakhalian acquired complex oxides from the University of Texas in Austin, in close collaboration with chemists John Goodenough and J.G. Cheng. Chakhalian’s group, led by Meyers, conducted experiments on them at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
Chackhalian holds the Charles and Clydene Scharlau Chair in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
The research team also included theorists Swarnakamal Mukherjee and Tanusri Saha Dasgupta of the S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences in Calcutta, India; Goodenough and Cheng of the University of Texas (Cheng also with the University of Tokyo and Chinese Academy of Sciences) and John W. Freeland of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
Contacts:Jak Chakhalian, professor, physics
Jak Chakhalian | Newswise
Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
NASA's fermi finds possible dark matter ties in andromeda galaxy
22.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
23.02.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences