April 16, 2014

Scientists Capture Ultrafast Snapshots of Light-Driven Superconductivity

X-rays reveal how rapidly vanishing 'charge stripes' may be behind laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity

A new study pins down a major factor behind the appearance of superconductivity—the ability to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency—in a promising copper-oxide material.

Scientists used carefully timed pairs of laser pulses at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) to trigger superconductivity in the material and immediately take x-ray snapshots of its atomic and electronic structure as superconductivity emerged.