Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Magnetism Governs Properties Of Iron-based Superconductors

Date:
April 2, 2009
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Though a year has passed since the discovery of a new family of high-temperature superconductors, a viable explanation for the iron-based materials' unusual properties remains elusive. But a team of scientists working at NIST may be close to the answer.

NIST research shows that magnetism plays a key role in iron pnictide superconductors' crystal structure. (Iron is purple; arsenic is yellow; calcium is green.) Only if the iron's magnetism is taken into account do calculations of the distance between these crystal layers match up with lab measurements. Magnetism's importance to their physical properties make it a likely factor in the iron pnictides' ability to superconduct, say team members.
Credit: Yildirim, NIST

Though a year has passed since the discovery of a new family of high-temperature superconductors, a viable explanation for the iron-based materials’ unusual properties remains elusive. But a team of scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) may be close to the answer.

The team has found strong evidence that magnetism is a pivotal factor governing the physical properties of iron pnictides, a group of materials that conduct electricity without resistance at temperatures of up to 56 kelvin (-217 degrees celsius). Iron pnictides are composed of regularly spaced layers of iron sandwiched between other substances. And although -217 might sound pretty cold, they are the first class of materials found to superconduct at that high a temperature since the discovery of copper-based superconductors more than two decades ago.

The team’s evidence shows that, without taking magnetism into account, theoretical calculations of iron pnictides’ inner structure do not line up with actual lab measurements. Factor in magnetism, though, and these discrepancies vanish—a decisive difference that, according to theorist Taner Yildirim, could imply that magnetism is also key to iron pnictide superconductivity.

“Without considering magnetism, for example, the calculated distance between iron layers—a distance that has been thoroughly measured—comes out to be wrong,” says Yildirim, of NIST’s Center for Neutron Research. “However, provided that we consider magnetic spin in our calculations, we can explain almost all of the iron pnictides’ structural and dynamic properties.”

Yildirim gave an invited talk at the March meeting of the American Physical Society, where he presented theoretical evidence demonstrating how magnetism controls basic aspects of iron pnictides as the position of the atoms, the materials’ phase transition, i.e. the sudden changes in the structure with temperature, and—probably, Yildirim says—their superconducting properties.

“Determining the mechanism of superconductivity in iron pnictide systems is very important in solving the long-standing mystery of the high temperature superconductor phenomena in general,” Yildirim says. “Once we have such an understanding of this strange phenomenon, we can then make predictions and design new materials with even higher superconductivity temperatures.”


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Magnetism Governs Properties Of Iron-based Superconductors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325132452.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2009, April 2). Magnetism Governs Properties Of Iron-based Superconductors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325132452.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Magnetism Governs Properties Of Iron-based Superconductors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325132452.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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