Navigation Links
Scientists engineer superconducting thin films
Date:10/8/2008

UPTON, NY - One major goal on the path toward making useful superconducting devices has been engineering materials that act as superconductors at the nanoscale the realm of billionths of a meter. Such nanoscale superconductors would be useful in devices such as superconductive transistors and eventually in ultrafast, power-saving electronics.

In the October 9, 2008, issue of Nature, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory report that they have successfully produced two-layer thin films where neither layer is superconducting on its own, but which exhibit a nanometer-thick region of superconductivity at their interface. Furthermore, they demonstrate the ability to elevate the temperature of superconductivity at this interface to temperatures exceeding 50 kelvin (-370F), a relatively high temperature deemed more practical for real-world devices.

"This work provides definitive proof of our ability to produce robust superconductivity at the interface of two layers confined within an extremely thin, 1-2-nanometer-thick layer near the physical boundary between the two materials," said physicist Ivan Bozovic, who leads the Brookhaven thin film research team. "It opens vistas for further progress, including using these techniques to significantly enhance superconducting properties in other known or new superconductors."

Bozovic foresees future research investigating different combinations of non-superconducting materials. "Further study of the temperature-enhancement mechanism might even tell us something about the big puzzle the mechanism underlying high-temperature superconductivity, which remains one of the most important open problems in condensed matter physics," he said.

Bozovic's team had reported in 2002 the bizarre observation that the critical temperature the temperature below which the sample superconducts could be enhanced by as much as 25 percent in bilayers of two dissimilar copper-based materials. However, at that time, the scientists had no understanding of what caused this enhancement and in which part of the sample the superconductivity was located.

To investigate this further, they synthesized more than 200 single-phase, bilayer and trilayer films with insulating, metallic, and superconducting blocks in all possible combinations and of varying layer thickness. The films were grown in a unique atomic-layer-by-layer molecular beam epitaxy system designed and built by Bozovic and coworkers to enable the synthesis of atomically smooth films as well as multilayers with perfect interfaces. "The greatest technical challenge was to prove convincingly that the superconducting effect does not come from simple mixing of the two materials and formation of a third, chemically and physically distinct layer between the two constituent layers," Bozovic said. Collaborators at Cornell University ruled out this possibility using atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy to identify the samples' constituent chemical elements, proving that the layers indeed remained distinct.

"It is too early to tell what applications this research might yield," Bozovic said, "but already at this stage we can speculate that this brings us one big step closer to fabrication of useful three-terminal superconducting devices, such as a superconductive field-effect transistor." In such a device, one would be able to switch the transistor from the superconducting to the resistive state by means of an external electric field, controlled by applying a voltage and using the third (gate) electrode. Circuits built from such devices would be much faster and use less power than the current ones based on semiconductors.

"No matter what the applications, this work is a nice demonstration of our ability to engineer and control materials at sub-nanometer scale, with designed and enhanced functionality," Bozovic said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. New nanoscale process created by UCSB scientists will help computers run faster and more efficiently
2. CU scientists create worlds thinnest balloon -- just one atom thick
3. Tengion Scientists Publish Positive Preclinical Findings With Neo-Organ Demonstrating Long-term Durability and Growth With Skeletal Maturation
4. Brewing better beer: Scientists determine the genomic origins of lager yeasts
5. Vermillion and Stanford Scientists Receive Best Research Award From the PAD Coalition
6. SACHEM Launches 2-D HPLC e-Learning Program : New e-Learning Program Teaches Scientists How to Better Analyze and Prove Product Purity Through Greater Sensitivity and Precision in Identification of Trace Components
7. Scientists peel away the mystery behind golds catalytic prowess
8. The National Cancer Institute Joins the Global Community of Scientists Now Using BIOMARKERcenter From Thomson Reuters
9. Scientists grow nanonets able to snare added energy transfer
10. University of Pennsylvania scientists move optical computing closer to reality
11. City of Hope Helps KGI Launch New Management Training Program for Scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... Crucial Life Sciences Data Solutions, Inc. ... improves performance of the platform. In particular, Version 4.1 boosts performance for complex ... to be collected on a per patient basis. Clinical Studio has employed a ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... American Process, Inc. (API) announced ... Patent Nos. 9,322,133 and 9,322,134, to API and its affiliated companies for BioPlus® ... hydrophobic nanocellulose compositions. In addition to these patents and U.S. Patent No. ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... CereScan, the nation’s leader in providing ... National Stroke Awareness Month in May. An infographic created by CereScan will ... CereScan will donate $1 up to a maximum of $3,000 through users who ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016  Bayer today announced that a ... ® (regorafenib) tablets for the treatment of ... its primary endpoint of a statistically significant improvement ... the efficacy and safety of regorafenib in patients ... with sorafenib. The safety and tolerability were generally ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a ... projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric ... combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... service provider, today announced a global partnership that ... convenient way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... Mobility is a key innovation area for financial services, but ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , ... the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was ... 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings ... flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):