Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling structure on the nanoscale could lead to better superconductors

Date:
March 16, 2010
Source:
American Physical Society
Summary:
A new experiment shows how adjacent regions affect each other in superconductors, and suggests ways that the materials could be improved by controlling their nanoscopic structures.

Superconductors, materials in which current flows without resistance, have tantalizing applications. But even the highest-temperature superconductors require extreme cooling before the effect kicks in, so researchers want to know when and how superconductivity comes about in order to coax it into existence at room temperature. Now a team has shown that, in a copper-based superconductor, tiny areas of weak superconductivity hold up at higher temperatures when surrounded by regions of strong superconductivity.

The experiment is reported in current issue of Physical Review Letters and highlighted with a Viewpoint in Physics by Jenny Hoffman of Harvard University.

Researchers have long known that both superconducting and normal currents can leak back and forth between adjacent layers of superconducting material and metal. In copper-based ceramic superconductors, made up of many different elements, superconductivity varies within nanometers depending on which atoms are nearby. These tiny regions can influence each other in much the same way that thin layers of metal and superconductor interact.

Now a collaboration of researchers from Princeton University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry in Japan has used Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to investigate for the first time how this happens on the nanoscale. As they warmed a superconducting sample, they saw that superconductivity died out at different temperatures in regions just a few nanometers apart. Superconductivity didn't just depend on the characteristics of the local region, but on what was going on nearby. Regions of stronger superconductivity seemed to help regions of weaker superconductivity survive at higher temperatures.

Researchers might exploit this interplay by micromanaging a superconductor's structure, so that regions of strong superconductivity have the maximum benefit to weak regions, potentially resulting in a new material that's superconducting at a higher overall temperature than is possible with randomly arranged ceramic superconductors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Colin V. Parker, Aakash Pushp, Abhay N. Pasupathy, Kenjiro K. Gomes, Jinsheng Wen, Zhijun Xu, Shimpei Ono, Genda Gu, and Ali Yazdani. Nanoscale Proximity Effect in the High-Temperature Superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ Using a Scanning Tunneling Microscope. Phys. Rev. Lett., 2010; 104: 117001 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.117001
  2. Jennifer E. Hoffman. Proximity to understanding the cuprates. Physics, 2010; 3 (23) DOI: 10.1103/Physics.3.23

Cite This Page:

American Physical Society. "Controlling structure on the nanoscale could lead to better superconductors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315091305.htm>.
American Physical Society. (2010, March 16). Controlling structure on the nanoscale could lead to better superconductors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315091305.htm
American Physical Society. "Controlling structure on the nanoscale could lead to better superconductors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315091305.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) — CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) — Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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