Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New High-Temperature Superconductors Are Iron-based With Unusual Magnetic Properties

Date:
June 1, 2008
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
In the initial studies of a new class of high-temperature superconductors discovered earlier this year, research has revealed that new iron-based superconductors share similar unusual magnetic properties with previously known superconducting copper-oxide materials.

The magnetic structure of the new iron-based superconductors was determined at the thermal triple-axis spectrometer at the NIST Center for Neutron Research. Physicists Jeff Lynn and Ying Chen prepare the instrument for use.
Credit: Copyright Robert Rathe

In the initial studies of a new class of high-temperature superconductors discovered earlier this year, research at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has revealed that new iron-based superconductors share similar unusual magnetic properties with previously known superconducting copper-oxide materials.

These superconductors may one day enable energy and environmental gains because they could significantly heighten the efficiency of transferring electricity over the electric grid or storing electricity in off-peak hours for later use.

"While we still do not understand how magnetism and superconductivity are related in copper-oxide superconductors," explains NIST Fellow Jeffrey Lynn at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), "our measurements show that the new iron-based materials share what seems to be a critical interplay between magnetism and superconductivity."

The importance of magnetism to high-temperature superconductors is remarkable because magnetism strongly interferes with conventional low-temperature superconductors. "Only a few magnetic impurities in the low-temperature superconductors sap the superconducting properties away," says Lynn.

By contrast, copper-oxide superconductors, discovered in 1986, tolerate higher magnetic fields at higher temperatures. The highest performance copper-oxide superconductors conduct electricity without resistance when cooled to "transition temperatures" below 140 Kelvin (-133 Celsius) and can simply and cheaply be cooled by liquid nitrogen to 77 Kelvin or (-196 Celsius).

Japanese researchers discovered earlier this year that a new class of iron-based superconducting materials also had much higher transition temperatures than the conventional low-temperature superconductors. The discovery sent physicists and materials scientists into a renewed frenzy of activity reminiscent of the excitement brought on by the discovery of the first high-temperature superconductors over 20 years ago.

Earlier work on the copper-oxide superconductors revealed that they consist of magnetically active copper-oxygen layers, separated by layers of non-magnetic materials. By "doping," or adding different elements to the non-magnetic layers of this normally insulating material, researchers can manipulate the magnetism to achieve electrical conduction and then superconductivity.

The group of scientists studying the iron-based superconductors used the NCNR, a facility that uses intense beams of neutral particles called neutrons to probe the atomic and magnetic structure of the new material.

As neutrons probed the iron-based sample supplied by materials scientists in Beijing, they revealed a magnetism that is similar to that found in copper-oxide superconductors, that is, layers of magnetic moments--like many individual bar magnets--interspersed with layers of nonmagnetic material. Lynn notes that the layered atomic structure of the iron-based systems, like the copper-oxide materials, makes it unlikely that these similarities are an accident.

One of the exciting aspects of these new superconductors is that they belong to a comprehensive class of materials where many chemical substitutions are possible. This versatility is already opening up new research avenues to understand the origin of the superconductivity, and should also enable the superconducting properties to be tailored for commercial technologies.

Researchers from the following institutions partnered with NIST in these studies: University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Maryland; Ames Laboratory; Iowa State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. de la Cruz, Q. Huang, J.W. Lynn, J. Li, W. Ratcliff II, J.L. Zarestky, H.A. Mook, G.F. Chen, J.L. Luo, N.L. Wang and P. Dai. Magnetic order close to superconductivity in the iron-based layered La(O1-xFx)FeAs systems. Nature Advanced Online Publication, May 28, 2008

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "New High-Temperature Superconductors Are Iron-based With Unusual Magnetic Properties." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528140242.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2008, June 1). New High-Temperature Superconductors Are Iron-based With Unusual Magnetic Properties. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528140242.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "New High-Temperature Superconductors Are Iron-based With Unusual Magnetic Properties." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528140242.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins