Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-temperature superconductivity induced in a semiconductor with Scotch tape

Date:
September 11, 2012
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
An international team has developed a simple new technique using Scotch poster tape that has enabled them to induce high-temperature superconductivity in a semiconductor for the first time. The method paves the way for novel new devices that could be used in quantum computing and to improve energy efficiency.

University of Toronto physics professor Ken Burch with experimental apparatus and tape.
Credit: Diana Tyszko, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto

An international team led by University of Toronto physicists has developed a simple new technique using Scotch poster tape that has enabled them to induce high-temperature superconductivity in a semiconductor for the first time. The method paves the way for novel new devices that could be used in quantum computing and to improve energy efficiency.

"Who would have thought simply sticking things together can generate entirely new effects?" said team leader and U of T physicist Ken Burch. High-temperature superconductors are materials that conduct electricity without heating up and losing energy at liquid nitrogen temperatures. They are currently in use for transmitting electricity with low loss and as the building blocks of the next generation of devices (quantum computers).

However, only certain compounds of iron, copper and oxygen -- or cuprates -- reveal high-temperature superconducting properties. Cuprates were believed to be impossible to incorporate with semi-conductors, and so their real-world use has been severely limited as has the exploration of new effects they may generate. For example, observing the phenomenon of the proximity effect -- wherein the superconductivity in one material generates superconductivity in an otherwise normal semi-conductor -- has been difficult because the fundamental quantum mechanics require the materials to be in nearly perfect contact.

That's where the poster tape comes in. "Typically, junctions between semi-conductors and superconductors were made by complex material growth procedures and fabricating devices with features smaller than a human hair," explains Burch. "However the cuprates have a completely different structure and complex chemical make-up that simply can't be incorporated with a normal semiconductor."

So instead, the team used Scotch poster tape and glass slides to place high-temperature superconductors in proximity with a special type of semi-conductor known as a topological insulator. Topological insulators have captured world-wide attention from scientists because they behave like semi-conductors in the bulk, but are very metallic at the surface. The result was induced superconductivity in these novel semi-conductors: a physics first.

The U of T team members include Kenneth S. Burch, Alex Hayat, Parisa Zareapour, Shu Yang F. Zhao, Michael Kreshchuk, Achint Jain. All are members of the Department of Physics and Institute for Optical Sciences and Alex Hayat who holds an additional appointment with U of T's Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control. Other scientists collaborating on the project are: Sang-Wook Cheong, Daniel C. Kwok and Nara Lee of Rutgers University, G.D. Gu, Ahijun Xu and Zhijun Xu of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Robert Cava of Princeton.

The work, published in Nature Communications, was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry for Innovation and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Parisa Zareapour, Alex Hayat, Shu Yang F. Zhao, Michael Kreshchuk, Achint Jain, Daniel C. Kwok, Nara Lee, Sang-Wook Cheong, Zhijun Xu, Alina Yang, G.D. Gu, Shuang Jia, Robert J. Cava, Kenneth S. Burch. Proximity-induced high-temperature superconductivity in the topological insulators Bi2Se3 and Bi2Te3. Nature Communications, 2012; 3: 1056 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2042

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "High-temperature superconductivity induced in a semiconductor with Scotch tape." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911112811.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2012, September 11). High-temperature superconductivity induced in a semiconductor with Scotch tape. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911112811.htm
University of Toronto. "High-temperature superconductivity induced in a semiconductor with Scotch tape." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911112811.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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