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 July 25, 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 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

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
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) 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