Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Man-made material pushes the bounds of superconductivity

Abstract:
A multi-university team of researchers has artificially engineered a unique multilayer material that could lead to breakthroughs in both superconductivity research and in real-world applications.

Man-made material pushes the bounds of superconductivity

Madison, WI | Posted on March 3rd, 2013

The researchers can tailor the material, which seamlessly alternates between metal and oxide layers, to achieve extraordinary superconducting properties — in particular, the ability to transport much more electrical current than non-engineered materials.

The team includes experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida State University and the University of Michigan. Led by Chang-Beom Eom, the Harvey D. Spangler Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering and physics at UW-Madison, the group described its breakthrough March 3, 2013, in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Materials.

Superconductors, which presently operate only under extremely cold conditions, transport energy very efficiently. With the ability to transport large electrical currents and produce high magnetic fields, they power such existing technologies as magnetic resonance imaging and Maglev trains, among others. They hold great potential for emerging applications in electronic devices, transportation, and power transmission, generation and storage.

Carefully layered superconducting materials are increasingly important in highly sophisticated applications. For example, a superconducting quantum interference device, or SQUID, used to measure subtle magnetic fields in magnetoencephalography scans of the brain, is based on a three-layer material.

However, one challenge in the quest to understand and leverage superconductivity is developing materials that work at room temperature. Currently, even unconventional high-temperature superconductors operate below -369 degrees Fahrenheit.

An unconventional high-temperature superconductor, the researchers' iron-based "pnictide" material is promising in part because its effective operating temperature is higher than that of conventional superconducting materials such as niobium, lead or mercury.

The research team engineered and measured the properties of superlattices of pnictide superconductors. A superlattice is the complex, regularly repeating geometric arrangement of atoms — its crystal structure — in layers of two or more materials. Pnictide superconductors include compounds made from any of five elements in the nitrogen family of the periodic table.

The researchers' new material is composed of 24 layers that alternate between the pnictide superconductor and a layer of the oxide strontium titanate. Creating such systems is difficult, especially when the arrangement of atoms, and chemical compatibility, of each material is very different.

Yet, layer after layer, the researchers maintained an atomically sharp interface — the region where materials meet. Each atom in each layer is precisely placed, spaced and arranged in a regularly repeating crystal structure.

The new material also has improved current-carrying capabilities. As they grew the superlattice, the researchers also added a tiny bit of oxygen to intentionally insert defects every few nanometers in the material. These defects act as pinning centers to immobilize tiny magnetic vortices that, as they grow in strength in large magnetic fields, can limit current flow through the superconductor. "If the vortices move around freely, the energy dissipates, and the superconductor is no longer lossless," says Eom. "We have engineered both vertical and planar pinning centers, because vortices created by magnetic fields can be in many different orientations."

Eom sees possibilities for researchers to expand upon his team's success in engineering man-made superconducting structures. "There's a need to engineer superlattices for understanding fundamental superconductivity, for potential use in high-field and electronic devices, and to achieve extraordinary properties in the system," says Eom. "And, there is indication that interfaces can be a new area of discovery in high-temperature superconductors. This material offers those possibilities."

Funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, National Science Foundation, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research supported the researchers' work. Eom's collaborators include Eric Hellstrom's and David Larbalestier's group at Florida State University; and Xiaoqing Pan's group at the University of Michigan.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Chang-Beom Eom

608-263-6305

Renee Meiller
608-262-2481

Copyright © University of Wisconsin-Madison

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

Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation January 23rd, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Physics

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals: Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an “open” system January 12th, 2018

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti Develops World’s First Micro-Coolers for CERN Particle Detectors: Leti Design, Fabrication and Packaging Expertise Extends to Very Large Scientific Instruments December 11th, 2017

Inorganic-organic halide perovskites for new photovoltaic technology November 6th, 2017

Halas wins American Physical Society's Lilienfeld Prize: Rice University nanoscientist honored for pioneering research in plasmonics October 23rd, 2017

Superconductivity

Ames Laboratory, UConn discover superconductor with bounce October 25th, 2017

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Strange electrons break the crystal symmetry of high-temperature superconductors: Brookhaven Lab scientists discover spontaneous voltage perpendicular to applied current that may help unravel the mystery of high-temperature superconductors July 27th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Discoveries

Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation January 23rd, 2018

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Announcements

Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation January 23rd, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Military

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals: Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an “open” system January 12th, 2018

Nanotube fibers in a jiffy: Rice University lab makes short nanotube samples by hand to dramatically cut production time January 11th, 2018

Research partnerships

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

New era in high field superconducting magnets – opening new frontiers in science, nanotechnology and materials discovery January 9th, 2018

Touchy nanotubes work better when clean: Rice, Swansea scientists show that decontaminating nanotubes can simplify nanoscale devices January 4th, 2018

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