Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Getting warmer: UT Knoxville researchers uncover information on new superconductors

30.05.2008
The world of physics is on fire about a new kind of superconductor, and a group of researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory led by physicist Pengcheng Dai are in the middle of the heat.

The excitement centers around a new class of high-temperature superconductors -- initially discovered in February and March by Japanese and Chinese researchers -- and the effort to learn more about them. Dai and his team published major new findings about the materials in this week's online edition of the leading scientific journal Nature.

For more than 20 years, scientists have struggled to understand the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductors. The materials move electricity with incredible efficiency -- something that, if fully understood and controlled, could have a major impact on energy use around the world. Their impact could be felt in a variety of ways, from how we transmit electricity into homes to how we power the massive machines used in industry.

Conventional superconductors only possess the property at incredibly cold temperatures -- far too cold for widespread practical use, which is what drives the search for materials that are superconductors at higher temperatures.

When research showed that the new materials could be superconductors at higher temperatures than any conventional superconductors recorded -- 43 Kelvin -- Dai shifted his research group into high gear, contacting colleagues in China to send samples to him.

"When I saw [the superconducting temperature] hit 43K," said Dai, a UT Knoxville-ORNL joint faculty member, "I called and said, 'Send them over.' The sample arrived at UT that Friday. Clarina [de la Cruz, the study's lead author] went to Maryland that night, and ORNL the next week."

De la Cruz, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in Dai's lab and ORNL, was at the campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in less than 12 hours, using an instrument that bombards the material with neutrons to learn more about its characteristics. Part of the research also was conducted at ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor a few days later.

What de la Cruz and Dai found was that the new materials share a common trait with another class of high-temperature superconductors -- when the materials are doped to become superconducting, they lose their static magnetism.

It's a trait that that Dai and his team have studied extensively in superconductors known as cuprates, and this finding is a step toward showing that there may be a broader significance to the tie between magnetism and superconductivity.

"In our view, it is extremely important to find another example," Dai said. "It is not exactly the same as the cuprates, but it is similar."

The speed with which their research was conducted reflects the competitive nature of superconductivity research, a field which already has led to two Nobel Prizes.

Dai and his research team will continue to analyze the new material, in hopes of finding the common threads that make materials superconductive.

"The hope, the dream of the research is to engineer the process to happen at higher and higher temperatures," he said. The end goal is to be able to harness the unique property at temperatures that do not require incredibly cold and incredibly controlled situations.

Jay Mayfield | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tennessee.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>