Confirmation of Old Theory Leads to New Breakthrough in Superconductor Science

June 30, 2019

Graphic showing van der Waals BSCCO device. (Zhao, et al.*)

Phase transitions occur when a substance changes from a solid, liquid or gaseous state to a different state—like ice melting or vapor condensing. During these phase transitions, there is a point at which the system can display properties of both states of matter simultaneously. A similar effect occurs when normal metals transition into superconductors—characteristics fluctuate and properties expected to belong to one state carry into the other.

Scientists at Harvard [led by Prof. Philip Kim] have developed a bismuth-based, two-dimensional superconductor that is only one nanometer thick. By studying fluctuations in this ultra-thin material as it transitions into superconductivity, the scientists gained insight into the processes that drive superconductivity more generally. Because they can carry electric currents with near-zero resistance, as they are improved, superconducting materials will have applications in virtually any technology that uses electricity...

Continue reading "Confirmation of old theory leads to new breakthrough in superconductor science" by Savannah Mitchem in phys.org, June 28, 2019. https://phys.org/news/2019-06-theory-breakthrough-superconductor-science.html.

For more informaiton, read the original research paper:
* Zhao, S. Y. Frank, Nicola Poccia, Margaret G. Panetta, Cyndia Yu, et al., "Sign-Reversing Hall Effect in Atomically Thin High-Temperature Bi2.1Sr1.9CaCu2.0O8 + δ Superconductors," Phys. Rev. Lett. 122 (20 June 2019) DOI:https://doi-org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.247001