Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have uncovered a striking new behavior of the 'strange metal' state of high temperature superconductors. The discovery represents an important piece of the puzzle for understanding these materials, and the findings have been published in the journal Science.
Superconductivity, where an electric current is transported without any losses, holds enormous potential for green technologies. For example, if it could be made to work at high enough temperatures, it could allow for lossless transport of renewable energy over great distances. Investigating this phenomenon is the aim of the research field of high temperature superconductivity. The current record stands at −130 degrees celsius, which might not seem like a high temperature, but it is when compared to standard superconductors which only work below −230 degrees celsius. While standard superconductivity is well understood, several aspects of high temperature superconductivity are still a puzzle to be solved. The newly published research focusses on the least understood property—the so called 'strange metal' state, appearing at temperatures higher than those that allow for superconductivity.
"This 'strange metal' state is aptly named. The materials really behave in a very unusual way, and it is something of a mystery among researchers. Our work now offers a new understanding of the phenomenon. Through novel experiments, we have learned crucial new information about how the strange metal state works" says Floriana Lombardi, Professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers.
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