December 20, 2013

Charge Order competes with superconductivity

Today in Science Express: Charge carriers in cuprate high-Tc superconductors form nanostripes that suppress superconductivity, as shown by guest researchers from Princeton and Vancouver using synchrotron radiation at BESSY II

Superconductors are materials that can conduct electricity without any loss of energy. In order to exhibit this property, however, classical superconductors need to be cooled almost to absolute zero (minus 273 degrees centigrade). Even the so-called high-Tc superconductors still require very low temperatures of minus 200 degrees centigrade. While cooling down to these temperatures involves substantial effort, superconductors are already employed in many areas, e.g., for magnetic resonance tomography in medical applications. Despite extensive research, materials providing lossless conduction of electricity at room temperature are missing up to now.