Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Etch-a-sketch with superconductors: A breakthrough in controlling defects could lead to new generation of electronic devices

In future, X-ray beams could be used to write superconducting circuits, such as those depicted in the image. Here, solid lines indicate electrical connections while semicircles denote superconducting junctions, whose states are indicated by red arrows.

Credit: UCL Press Office
In future, X-ray beams could be used to write superconducting circuits, such as those depicted in the image. Here, solid lines indicate electrical connections while semicircles denote superconducting junctions, whose states are indicated by red arrows.

Credit: UCL Press Office

Abstract:
Reporting in Nature Materials this week, researchers from the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the Physics Department of Sapienza University of Rome have discovered a technique to 'draw' superconducting shapes using an X-ray beam. This ability to create and control tiny superconducting structures has implications for a completely new generation of electronic devices.

Etch-a-sketch with superconductors: A breakthrough in controlling defects could lead to new generation of electronic devices

London, UK | Posted on August 22nd, 2011

Superconductivity is a special state where a material conducts electricity with no resistance, meaning absolutely zero energy is wasted.

The research group has shown that they can manipulate regions of high temperature superconductivity, in a particular material which combines oxygen, copper and a heavier, 'rare earth' element called lanthanum. Illuminating with X-rays causes a small scale re-arrangement of the oxygen atoms in the material, resulting in high temperature superconductivity, of the type originally discovered for such materials 25 years ago by IBM scientists. The X-ray beam is then used like a pen to draw shapes in two dimensions.

A well as being able to write superconductors with dimensions much smaller than the width of a human hair, the group is able to erase those structures by applying heat treatments. They now have the tools to write and erase with high precision, using just a few simple steps and without the chemicals ordinarily used in device fabrication. This ability to re-arrange the underlying structure of a material has wider applications to similar compounds containing metal atoms and oxygen, ranging from fuel cells to catalysts.

Prof. Aeppli, Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the UCL investigator on the project, said: "Our validation of a one-step, chemical-free technique to generate superconductors opens up exciting new possibilities for electronic devices, particularly in re-writing superconducting logic circuits. Of profound importance is the key to solving the notorious 'travelling salesman problem', which underlies many of the world's great computational challenges. We want to create computers on demand to solve this problem, with applications from genetics to logistics. A discovery like this means a paradigm shift in computing technology is one step closer."

Prof Bianconi, the leader of the team from Sapienza, added: "It is amazing that in a few simple steps, we can now add superconducting 'intelligence' directly to a material consisting mainly of the common elements copper and oxygen."

The X-ray experiments were performed at the Elettra (Trieste) synchrotron radiation facility. The work is published in Nature Materials, 21 August 2011 (doi:1038/nmat3088) and follows on from previous discovery of fractal-like structures in superconductors (doi:10.1038/nature09260).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dave Weston

44-020-310-83844

Copyright © University College London

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

AIM Photonics Announces Release of Process Design Kit (PDK) for Integrated Silicon Photonics Design August 25th, 2016

Semblant to Present at China Mobile Manufacturing Forum 2016 August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Superconductivity

Superconductivity: After the scenario, the staging August 20th, 2016

Superconductivity: After the scenario, the staging August 20th, 2016

Scientists uncover origin of high-temperature superconductivity in copper-oxide compound: Analysis of thousands of samples reveals that the compound becomes superconducting at an unusually high temperature because local electron pairs form a 'superfluid' that flows without resist August 19th, 2016

Enhanced electron doping on iron superconductors discovered: IBS Centre for Correlated Electron Systems revises existing theories by raising the temperature for superconductivity August 17th, 2016

Chip Technology

AIM Photonics Announces Release of Process Design Kit (PDK) for Integrated Silicon Photonics Design August 25th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

New theory could lead to new generation of energy friendly optoelectronics: Researchers at Queen's University Belfast and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have created a new theoretical framework which could help physicists and device engineers design better optoelectronics August 23rd, 2016

Discoveries

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

Announcements

AIM Photonics Announces Release of Process Design Kit (PDK) for Integrated Silicon Photonics Design August 25th, 2016

Semblant to Present at China Mobile Manufacturing Forum 2016 August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Research partnerships

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

New theory could lead to new generation of energy friendly optoelectronics: Researchers at Queen's University Belfast and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have created a new theoretical framework which could help physicists and device engineers design better optoelectronics August 23rd, 2016

A new way to display the 3-D structure of molecules: Metal-organic frameworks provide a new platform for solving the structure of hard-to-study samples August 21st, 2016

Researchers watch catalysts at work August 19th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic