Scotch Tape Holds Together Novel 80 K "High Temperature" Superconductor
September 12, 2012 5:32 PM
comment(s) - last by
Tape helps maintain tight contact between two components of the system
They say duct tape (or scotch tape) fixes everything.
Well, a bit of tape certainly did the trick in a new study examining "proximity effects"
. A "proximity effect" refers to when a superconducting material is able to induce superconducting behavior in a second material -- a semiconductor that does not typically enjoy superconductivity.
The effect is of high interest for a couple of reasons. First, it is being examined for
. Second, it is of interest from a theoretical standpoint, as it is theorized that Majorana fermions -- an elusive type of subatomic particle -- appear at the interface.
Poor contact limited past efforts to under 10K -- a chillingly cold temperature that requires extreme measures to maintain. The key problem is that high temperature superconductors
are typically cuprates
-- materials typically composed of iron, copper, and oxygen. But cuprates have a wildly different atomic structure versus most polycrystalline semiconductors, making them virtually impossible to "grow" on the target substrate with similar techniques. This is most unfortunate as the proximity effect is delicately tied to physical contact, and mechanical alternatives to deposition have producing unappealing results.
But in a wild twist the researchers at the
University of Toronto
Dept. of Physics
hatched the idea to use scotch tape and glass slides to bind the two materials -- the superconductor (Bi
) and the semiconductor (Bi
) -- together.
University of Toronto physics professor Ken Burch showed off the roll of tape that helped him to attain a new kind of superconductivity. [Image Source: Diana Tyszko/U of T]
The approach worked, and the researchers were able to get induced superconductivity in the semiconductor host at up to 80 Kelvin. That's a crucial result as liquid nitrogen is slightly below 77K, offering a much cheaper alternative to expensive
liquid helium cooling
or other more radical cryogenic methods.
Professor Ken Burch
, the study's senior author, "Typically, junctions between semi-conductors and superconductors were made by complex material growth procedures and fabricating devices with features smaller than a human hair. However the cuprates have a completely different structure and complex chemical make-up that simply can't be incorporated with a normal semiconductor."
On the novel solution he adds, "Who would have thought simply sticking things together can generate entirely new effects?"
The sticky study has been
[abstract] in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal
. The work funded by a variety of U.S. and Canadian research grants -- with money coming from the
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Canadian Foundation for Innovation
Ontario Ministry for Innovation
, and the U.S.
National Science Foundation
University of Toronto
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
9/13/2012 9:26:55 AM
Lol, the picture of the professor holding the tape is pretty funny overall.
9/13/2012 9:27:16 AM
It should probably be captioned "Engineering Win"
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
Researchers Develop Better Mini Lasers for Optical Computing
January 26, 2009, 8:15 AM
Scientists Solve Greatest Superconductor Puzzle Yet
August 29, 2008, 7:41 AM
Unraveling The Mystery of Superconductivity
January 2, 2008, 11:12 AM
"Prepare to be Punished": Microsoft is Killing OneDrive With Cuts, Blames Users
November 3, 2015, 8:23 PM
Apple's New "Magic" Peripheral Line Packs High Tech, High Prices
October 13, 2015, 9:39 PM
Samsung Adds 2 TB 850 EVO, PRO SSDs for $800, $1000
July 7, 2015, 4:23 PM
Seagate Senior Researcher: Heat Can Kill Data on Stored SSDs
May 13, 2015, 2:49 PM
How to Recover Most Apps After Your NVIDIA Driver Crashes in Windows 10
March 30, 2015, 12:54 PM
Tinkerer Gets Old School Mac Plus Running on the Modern Web
March 24, 2015, 6:41 PM
Most Popular Articles
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information