Navigation Links
Attraction at the atomic level

Countless romance novels begin with a hero and heroine who initially repel each other, only to find them thrown together in uncomfortable circumstances and ultimately rejoice as their antagonism switches to ardor.

Odd as it seems, this tried-and-true romantic formula may also describe the scintillating secret behind the science of superconductivity the phenomenon that occurs when materials conduct electricity across huge distances without losing any energy due to resistance from the transporting medium.

It appears that the electrons with the strongest repulsion in one situation are the most adept at superconductivity in another, said Ali Yazdani, professor of physics at Princeton University, and lead author on a paper just published in Science Magazine. Its counterintuitive, but thats whats happening.

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers Program through the Princeton Center for Complex Materials, and by a Major Research Instrumentation Award from NSF. Additional funding came from the U.S. Department of Energy.

These research results are of fundamental importance, said NSF Program Manager Charles Bouldin. By showing that a fundamentally different electron pairing mechanism exists in high-temperature superconductors, this work will move the field in new directions, and will help find new materials to investigate,

Superconductivity was first discovered in 1911 in mercury when the material was cooled to the temperature of liquid helium, 4 degrees Kelvin or minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists in later years would come to understand low-temperature superconductivity as a phenomenon that occurs when electrons interact with vibrations of the material's lattice structure and join into pairs that are able to travel through a conductor without being scattered by atoms. High-temperature superconductors such as copper oxide were discovered in 1986. They become superconducting at 150 degrees Kelvin or minus 253 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be cooled with liquid nitrogen, which is cheaper than liquid helium, making them of greater interest to industry. But do electrons bond in these materials, scientists have wondered, the same general way as in the lower temperature materials" The team with the new results says, "No."

The Princeton scientists say that high-temperature superconductivity does not hinge on a magical glue binding electrons together. The secret to superconductivity, they say, may rest instead on electrons ability to take advantage of their natural repulsion in a complex situation.

Having developed the ability to measure with high precision how nature allows electron pairs to form, the team, which included postdoctoral fellow Abhay Pasupathy and graduate students Aakash Pushp and Kenjiro Gomes, looked to see if there were other types of experimental signatures that could give clues to the mechanism of pairing. They found that when the samples were heated up to very high temperatures at which electrons no longer paired up, the electrons that had been superconducting at colder temperatures exhibited unique quantum properties at warmer temperatures indicating they possessed extremely strong repulsive forces.

Unlike the electrons studied in low-temperature superconducting materials, the electrons in high-temperature superconductors that are most likely to bond and flow effortlessly are the ones that repel others the strongest when the environment is not conducive to superconductivity.

The Princeton team used a specialized scanning tunneling microscope to measure with high precision how nature allows electron pairs to form. "What we have found is that the traditional signatures of what some might call the 'glue' are there we can measure them with high accuracy on the atomic scale," Yazdani said. "They don't control the formation of the superconducting pairs, though. They are more like spectators."


Contact: Diane Banegas
National Science Foundation

Related biology technology :

1. Human Pheromone Sciences Enters Into Agreement to Reposition and Promote its Natural Attraction(R) Brand
2. IMPAC Medical Systems and Aperio to Develop Integrated Solution for Anatomic Pathology
3. Maryland Science Center Unveils Anatomical Exhibition, Body Worlds 2, on Saturday, February 2
4. Heavier hydrogen on the atomic scale reduces friction
5. International Atomic Energy Agency and National Foundation for Cancer Research Launch Major Initiative to Improve Cancer Prevention and Treatments in Developing Countries
6. Siemens Signs Multi-Year Agreement With Cleveland Clinic to Deploy Enterprise-Wide Cardiology PACS
7. Femtogram-level chemical measurements now possible, U. of I. team reports
8. Aida Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Acquires High-Level Research Institute in the Peoples Republic of China
9. Aida Acquires High-Level Research Institute in China
10. Ingenuity Systems Extends Enterprise-Level Software Agreement With GlaxoSmithKline
11. Cardiums Corgentin Preclinical Program Shows High Levels of Targeting to Acutely Ischemic Heart Muscle Following Intracoronary Infusion
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Attraction at the atomic level
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary ... various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The ... cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will ... levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients ... will then be employed to support the design ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/21/2016)... June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today ... role of principal product architect and that ... of customer development. Both will report directly to ... The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its ... high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 ... Manned Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other ... provider visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the ... this market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in ... acquired DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):