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Scientists report the superconductivity of nickel oxide materials for the first time

wallpapers Industry 2021-04-06
The first nickel oxide material with obvious superconducting properties
The phys.org website reported on August 28 that scientists from the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have produced the first nickel oxide material with obvious superconducting properties. This material is an unconventional superconductor with great potential, which is similar to cuprate superconductors. Since the discovery of cuprate superconductors in 1986, scientists have been hoping to use them to revolutionize electronic equipment and power transmission technology. The similarities between nickelate and cuprate have lighted up a new "flame of thinking" for scientists: can nickelate also achieve high-temperature superconductivity? Danfeng Li, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Institute of Materials and Energy Sciences, led the related research and published the research results in the journal Nature. George Sawatzky, a professor of physics and chemistry at the University of British Columbia, wrote a review article for Li et al.'s paper: "This is a very important discovery. We need to rethink the electronic structure and superconducting mechanism of these superconducting materials.The academic circle will invest a lot of manpower and energy in the research of this kind of new materials, and various experimental and theoretical work will be gradually improved. "
The manufacture of nickel-based superconductors is unexpectedly difficult.
Since scientists discovered copper-based superconductors, they have been hoping to make similar oxide materials from nickel, the "neighbor" of copper on the periodic table. However, the manufacture of nickel-based superconductors is unexpectedly difficult. Li said: "As far as we know, nickelate is unstable at high temperatures (about 600 degrees Celsius). Therefore, we need to find a material that can grow stably at high temperatures and then transform into the desired structure at low temperatures."
Li et al. chose to start from a perovskite material with a unique double-pyramid atomic structure and doped it with strontium to enhance its free flow of electrons. The doping process makes the electrons break away from the nickel atoms, leaving holes. The nickel atoms are "a little unhappy"-the material starts to become unstable, which makes the next step of surface film formation extremely challenging. Li waited for about half a year to complete this work.
Further tests show that the possibility of high-temperature superconductivity is already available.
After the film is formed, Li cuts it into small pieces, then wraps it in aluminum foil and seals it with a certain chemical substance. Chemical substances strip off the oxygen atoms on the film, giving it a completely new atomic structure: strontium-doped nickelate. Further tests have shown that the superconducting temperature of nickelate is 9-15 Kelvin. Although the temperature is still very low, the possibility of high-temperature superconductivity of nickel oxide materials is already available.

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