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Home > Press > Single-layer superconductivity

Building superconducting thin films layer by layer
Building superconducting thin films layer by layer

Abstract:
Using a precision technique for making superconducting thin films layer-by-layer, physicists at DOE's Brookhaven Lab have identified a single layer responsible for one such material's ability to carry current with no energy loss.

Single-layer superconductivity

Upton, NY | Posted on November 23rd, 2009

The technique could be used to engineer ultrathin films with "tunable" superconductivity for higher-efficiency electronic devices. The scientists identified the layer responsible for the material's high-temperature superconductivity by systematically adding zinc, known to dampen superconductivity in cuprates, to each layer one by one. The added zinc lowered the superconducting transition temperature only when it was placed in a specific copper-oxide layer, proving that that single layer, less than one nanometer thick, is the "hot" one. The discovery that high-temperature superconductivity can exist, undiminished, in a single copper-oxide layer, opens the door to the fabrication of electronic devices where the superconducting properties can be controlled by external electric or magnetic fields.

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About Brookhaven Lab
One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOEs Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

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Contacts:
Karen McNulty Walsh
631.344.8350

Copyright © Brookhaven Lab

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