Authors: George Rajna
Physicists studying the strange behavior of metal alloys called heavy fermions have made a surprising discovery that could be useful in safeguarding the information stored in quantum bits, or qubits, the basic units of encoded information in quantum computers.  Properties of complex materials are often determined by the interplay of several electron properties. TU Wien (Vienna) has now succeeded in disentangling this mess.  Physicists have found "electron pairing," a hallmark feature of superconductivity, at temperatures and energies well above the critical threshold where superconductivity happens.  It was a three-hour nighttime road trip that capped off a journey begun seven years ago.  Discovered more than 100 years ago, superconductivity continues to captivate scientists who seek to develop components for highly efficient energy transmission, ultrafast electronics or quantum bits for next-generation computation.  One of the greatest mysteries in condensed matter physics is the exact relationship between charge order and superconductivity in cuprate superconductors.  Cuprates hold the record high superconducting temperature at ambient pressure so far, but understanding their superconducting mechanism remains one of the great challenges of physical sciences listed as one of 125 quests announced by Science.  Now, scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University report curious multi-state transitions of these superconductors in which they change from superconductor to special metal and then to insulator.  Researchers at the Zavoisky Physical-Technical Institute and the Southern Scientific Center of RAS, in Russia, have recently fabricated quasi-2-D superconductors at the interface between a ferroelectric Ba0.8Sr0.2TiO3 film and an insulating parent compound of La2CuO4.  Scientists seeking to understand the mechanism underlying superconductivity in "stripe-ordered" cuprates-copper-oxide materials with alternating areas of electric charge and magnetism-discovered an unusual metallic state when attempting to turn superconductivity off. 
Comments: 54 Pages.
[v1] 2019-08-26 11:49:39
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