Research by an international team led by SLAC and Stanford scientists has uncovered a new, unpredicted behavior in a copper oxide material that becomes superconducting — conducting electricity without any loss — at relatively high temperatures.
This new phenomenon — an unforeseen collective motion of electric charges coursing through the material — presents a challenge to scientists seeking to understand its origin and connection with high-temperature superconductivity. Their ultimate goal is to design a superconducting material that works at room temperature.
"Making a room-temperature superconductor would save the world enormous amounts of energy," said Thomas Devereaux, leader of the research team and director of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES), which is jointly run with SLAC. "But to do that we must understand what’s happening inside the materials as they become superconducting. This result adds a new piece to this long-standing puzzle.'
The results were published 19 October in Nature Physics.
Read the full article on the SLAC website.