Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flashes of light on a superconductor

Date:
July 14, 2014
Source:
Sissa Medialab
Summary:
A new technique has been developed based on applying short flashes of light to observe and analyze the features of a superconductor at high critical temperature, a material with major prospects for technological applications. In addition to providing an explanation for the peculiar behavior of the material, the study also opens to the possibility of controlling its characteristics by means of laser pulses.

A study just published in Nature Communications and carried out by a collaboration of several Italian and international centres, including SISSA, used a technique based on applying short flashes of light to observe and analyse the features of a superconductor at high critical temperature, a material with major prospects for technological applications. In addition to providing an explanation for the peculiar behaviour of the material, the study also opens to the possibility of controlling its characteristics by means of laser pulses.

Superconductors are futuristic materials that will hopefully have a broad range of technological applications at some time in the future (medical imaging, transport…). Today's use is limited by the extremely low temperatures (close to absolute zero) required for superconductivity to manifest. However, some families of these materials work at "relatively" high temperatures (about -- 200° C), and it's on these that scientists are focusing their attention. Among them are copper-based superconductors, which have very unique characteristics. A study conducted by researchers of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste, the iLamp laboratory of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Brescia), the T-Rex laboratory of the Elettra Synchrotron (Trieste), the Department of Physics of the University of Trieste and other international centres analysed a phenomenon typical of these materials and known to scientists as the pseudogap.

"When the material is heated to above the critical temperature, under which superconductivity manifests itself," explains Massimo Capone a SISSA researcher who took part in the study, "some of the features of the superconductive state are preserved, even though the main one is lost. This condition is called a pseudogap."

The team conducting the study induced a pseudogap state in the material, which it then subjected to very short pulses of laser light. "This treatment made the superconductor temporarily more 'metallic', a state not normally manifested in this condition. We then interrupted the pulses and observed how the material behaved when it returned to its original state," continues Capone. "What we induced is in fact a transient state -- lasting less than a picosecond -- which we realised was related to electron-electron interactions. The light pulses remove these interactions, making the electrons freer to flow: hence the metallic state."

Capone, whose role in this (mainly experimental) study was to contribute to interpreting the data collected, explains that it's most probably the electron-electron interactions that are responsible for the pseudogap state.

"In addition to offering a theoretical framework for the phenomenon and providing new insight into this major family of superconductors, our study opens to an important possibility of controlling and modulating the characteristics of superconductors through the use of laser light."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. F. Cilento, S. Dal Conte, G. Coslovich, S. Peli, N. Nembrini, S. Mor, F. Banfi, G. Ferrini, H. Eisaki, M. K. Chan, C. J. Dorow, M. J. Veit, M. Greven, D. van der Marel, R. Comin, A. Damascelli, L. Rettig, U. Bovensiepen, M. Capone, C. Giannetti, F. Parmigiani. Photo-enhanced antinodal conductivity in the pseudogap state of high-Tc cuprates. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5353

Cite This Page:

Sissa Medialab. "Flashes of light on a superconductor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714100346.htm>.
Sissa Medialab. (2014, July 14). Flashes of light on a superconductor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714100346.htm
Sissa Medialab. "Flashes of light on a superconductor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714100346.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. 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