First superconducting nickel oxide material detected

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There is talk of ‘the first superconducting NiO material’ in the press release published on the SLAC website, Stanford University’s US laboratory.

According to the researchers, this nickel oxide material, also called nickel-plated, shows clear signs of superconductivity, i.e. signs of the ability to conduct electric current practically without losses.

This unconventional superconductor is grafted onto a family of new superconductors that can ever operate at room temperature, a hope that has not yet died since 1986, the year in which the copper oxides (copper) that became superconductors at a temperature of -250 ° C.

Needless to say, superconductors operating at room temperature would be a real revolution for all electronic devices and, in general, for all modern technology. The discovery was made by Danfeng Li, a researcher at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, and the study was published in Nature.

However, Harold Hwang, senior author of the study, admits that the study is still at an early stage and that the work remains to be done, but the first experiments are more than reassuring.
In particular, there is a need to analyze the magnetic structure of the material and how its field interacts with superconductivity.

Scientists believe that this new material can be different from cuprates as far as magnetism is concerned, something that would, among other things, destroy the existing theories about the operation of unconventional superconductors.

“This is a very important discovery that leads us to reconsider the details of the electronic structure and the possible mechanisms of superconductivity in these materials,” says George Sawatzky, a professor of physics and chemistry at British Columbia who comments on the discovery on the SLAC website.

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Janice Walker
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