Superconductivity in diamond

April 10, 2004
diamond

As well as holding pride of place as the most sought-after of all precious gemstones, diamond possesses a dazzling array of technologically useful properties. As well as being the hardest, most thermally conducting, and chemically resistant of all known materials it is also biocompatible, highly transparent and of great interest for use in the electronics industry. And now, to top it all off, Evgeni Ekimov and colleagues report in Nature, that under the correct conditions, it can also become a superconductor.

The diamonds they used were grown by the conventional industrial technique of subjecting graphite to high pressure and temperature, but to make it electrically conducting they added 2.8% of boron during growth, which contributes positive charge carriers (holes) to the material.

Authors report the discovery of superconductivity in boron-doped diamond synthesized at high pressure (nearly 100,000 atmospheres) and temperature (2,500–2,800 K). Electrical resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, specific heat and field-dependent resistance measurements show that boron-doped diamond is a bulk, type-II superconductor below the superconducting transition temperature Tc 4 K; superconductivity survives in a magnetic field up to Hc2(0) 3.5 T. The discovery of superconductivity in diamond-structured carbon suggests that Si and Ge, which also form in the diamond structure, may similarly exhibit superconductivity under the appropriate conditions.

Explore further: Researchers set new temperature record for a superconductor

Related Stories

Researchers set new temperature record for a superconductor

August 19, 2015

(Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute and Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz has set a new warmth record for a superconductor. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team ...

Quantum engineering

August 13, 2014

It can be difficult to distinguish between basic and applied research in the nascent field of quantum engineering. One person's exploration of quantum systems like atoms and electrons yields another's building block for quantum ...

Recommended for you

A marine creature's magic trick explained

September 2, 2015

Tiny ocean creatures known as sea sapphires perform a sort of magic trick as they swim: One second they appear in splendid iridescent shades of blue, purple or green, and the next they may turn invisible (at least the blue ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Comet Hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies

September 2, 2015

Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn't easy. You have to figure out how to land your spacecraft safely and then get it on its way to the next destination. The landing part is especially tricky for asteroids ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.