A New Spin on Superconductivity

October 14, 2016

spinning top / Creativity103

By using superconducting materials through which electrons can move without any loss of energy, physicists hope to build quantum devices that would require significantly less power.

But there's a problem.

According to a fundamental property of superconductivity, superconductors can't transmit spin. Any electron pairs that pass through a superconductor will have the combined spin of zero.

In work published recently in Nature Physics*, the Harvard researchers found a way to transmit spin information through superconducting materials.

“We now have a way to control the spin of the transmitted electrons in simple superconducting devices,” said Amir Yacoby, Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at SEAS and senior author of the paper.

Continue reading the article by Leah Burrows, "A new spin on superconductivity," seas.harvard.edu, October 14, 2016.

* S. Hart, H. Ren, M. Kosowsky, G. Ben-Shach, P. Leubner, C. Brüne, H. Buhmann, L.W. Molenkamp, B.I. Halperin & A.Yacoby, "Controlled finite momentum pairing and spatially varying order parameter in proximitized HgTe quantum wells," Nature Physics (2016) doi:10.1038/nphys3877.