High-temperature superconductors can transport electrical energy without resistance. Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have carried out high-resolution inelastic X-ray scattering and have found that high uniaxial pressure induces a long-range charge order competing with superconductivity. Their study opens up new insights into the behavior of correlated electrons. The study is published in Science.
Superconductors transport current without losses, but only below a certain critical temperature. Conventional superconductors need to be cooled down almost to absolute zero, and even the so-called high-temperature superconductors require temperatures of around -200 degrees Celsius to transport current without resistance. Despite this, superconductors are already in widespread use. To develop superconductors that work at even higher temperatures—possibly up to room temperature—and therefore significantly contribute to an efficient energy supply, electronic states and processes involved in the formation of the superconducting condensate need to be understood at a fundamental level.