“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
Scientists discover particles similar to Majorana fermions
25.10.2016 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters
Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Life Sciences
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences