An international team of scientists has reported the first experimental observation of the quantum critical point (QCP) in the extensively studied “unconventional superconductor” TiSe2, finding that it does not reside as predicted within the superconducting dome of the phase diagram, but rather at a full GPa higher in pressure.
The surprising result, reported in Nature Physics, suggests that the emergence of superconductivity in TiSe2 isn’t associated with the melting of a charge density wave (CDW), as prevailing theory holds; in fact the CDW’s amplitude decreases under increasing pressure, but does not disappear at zero resistance.
The researchers find that the emergence of superconductivity in this material is connected rather with the formation of domain walls between commensurate and incommensurate phase transitions. The discovery of this new phase boundary has implications for our understanding of superconducting behavior.
The experiments, conducted by Young Il Joe, a graduate student working with condensed matter physicist Peter Abbamonte, employed a novel X-ray scattering technique at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) to obtain the first ever measurements of the degree of commensurability of the CDW order parameter.
In this, the researchers took advantage of the harmonics of the diffractive optics—usually filtered out in X-ray experiments—to take two readings simultaneously. The wavelengths of two simultaneous photon beams were carefully calibrated, one to measure the periodicity of the crystal lattice, the other to measure the periodicity of the electrons, and compare the two.
At low energies, the CDW was found to be commensurate, as expected, but above the superconducting dome, incommensurate behavior emerged as the temperature was increased. The superconducting characteristics of TiSe2 are typical of other unconventional superconducting materials that exhibit the universal phase diagram, suggesting a fundamental connection between unconventional superconductivity and the quantum dynamics of domain walls.
This work sheds new light on our understanding to the theorized connection between superconductivity and other ordered states, such as charge density wave (CDW), antiferromagnetism, or stripe order and could contribute to the eventual development of better superconducting materials, and ultimately to the possible invention of room-temperature superconductors.
The X-ray experiments were supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FG02-06ER46285. Young Il Joe, Shi Yuan, and Lance Cooper grew the 1-TiSe2 crystals at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with support from DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-07ER46453. Use of the CHESS was supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences under NSF award DMR-0936384.
T.C. Chiang’s contributions were supported by DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-07ER46383. The conclusions presented are those of the scientists and not necessarily those of the funding agencies. Contact: Peter Abbamonte, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 217/244-4861. Siv Schwink, communications coordinator, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 217/300-2201.
Peter Abbamonte | EurekAlert!
Cassiopeia's hidden gem: The closest rocky, transiting planet
04.08.2015 | Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Quantum States in a Nano-object Manipulated using a Mechanical System
04.08.2015 | Universität Basel
Continuing current carbon dioxide (CO2) emission trends throughout this century and beyond would leave a legacy of heat and acidity in the deep ocean. These...
Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations. Glacier melt is a global phenomenon and will continue even without further climate change. This is shown in the latest study by the World Glacier Monitoring Service under the lead of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together...
Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.
What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...
Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.
The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...
Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.
04.08.2015 | Event News
23.07.2015 | Event News
10.07.2015 | Event News
04.08.2015 | Information Technology
04.08.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering
04.08.2015 | Materials Sciences