First proof of single atomic layer material with zero electrical resistance

November 24, 2011, National Institute for Materials Science
Figure (Left) Temperature dependence of zero bias resistance measured by attaching electrodes to a solid surface substance comprising an indium single atomic layer. The inset shows changes in a wider temperature region. Resistance becomes zero at a temperature of 2.8K. (Right) Bias current-voltage characteristics measured while changing temperature. When the bias current reaches the critical current value (Ic), superconductivity is destroyed and the substance switches to a state having normal resistance. The inset plots Ic and the critical current density (J3D,C) obtained from Ic, as functions of temperature. Copyright : NIMS

A research group at the NIMS International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA) has proved that the electrical resistance of a metal single atomic layer on a silicon surface becomes zero by superconductivity.

A research group led by Dr. Takashi Uchihashi, a MANA Scientist, and Dr. Tomonobu Nakayama, a MANA Principal Investigator, both of the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, demonstrated that a substance comprising a metal single on a silicon surface becomes free of by superconductivity.

The current mainstream integrated circuits using generate excessive heat during operation, and this is a serious problem from the viewpoints of energy saving and environmental protection. Logic elements using superconductors have attracted attention as an effective candidate which offers a fundamental solution to this problem. On the other hand, research on communication using single employing superconducting devices is also progressing as a means of communication which assures perfect information security. As issues for future practical application, it is necessary to realize high integration and high efficiency, etc. in these respective devices. Refinement and creation of thin films of superconducting materials are considered effective for this purpose.

Focusing on an indium single atomic layer arranged with a special structure on a , the team led by Dr. Uchihashi observed for the first time in the world that the electrical resistance of this substance become zero, and the substance displays superconductivity, when cooled to a low temperature. Furthermore, when the current passing through this substance was increased, it was possible to pass a large current of 6.1*109 A/m2 () at maximum. Based on the principle of superconductivity, it had been anticipated that a superconducting current (=current with zero resistance) would be difficult to pass through the extremely confined and disordered region at the surface of a solid. However, this research overturned that prospect.

This research clarified the fact that the thickness of superconducting materials can be reduced to the ultimate limit of the atomic level. It is considered that this achievement will accelerate research on further refinement/integration of superconducting logic elements and research on higher efficiency/higher speed in superconducting detectors.

These research results are scheduled for publication in the near future as an Editor’s Suggestion in the journal of the American Institute of Physics, Physical Review Letters.

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not rated yet Nov 24, 2011
Holy mother of...that is pretty amazing.

Single layer structures should also be open to all kinds of cooling strategies with minimal energy needs.

We may not need to wait for room temperature superconductors after all for this to become commercially viable.

I wonder what shape the magnetic field takes in such single layer superconductors.
not rated yet Nov 24, 2011
I don't keeping prospective ICs at nearly 10 times lower temp than liquid H2 is cheap.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2011
Graphene is single atom layer too and it's known to become superconductive bellow 3 K...
not rated yet Nov 24, 2011
6.1*10^9 A/m2 over a conductor that is one atom layer thick?

1 cm by 5 nm is 5*10^-5 sq-m which means that a 1 cm wide strip of the material can pass just 300 milliamps.

That's not a lot.

I suppose you could roll the wire lenghtwise to make it manageable for some meaningful amounts of current. After all, you need a band that is 20 cm wide before you can transmit 6 amps of current or as much as a regular wall socket.
not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
1 cm by 5 nm is 5*10^-5 sq-m which means that a 1 cm wide strip of the material can pass just 300 milliamps.

That's not a lot.

But is it enough for a processor?

not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
you need a band that is 20 cm wide before you can transmit 6 amps of current or as much as a regular wall socket.

And why would you want to do that?
This stuff is for microchips (i.e. transistor/transistor connections) - not power supply.
1 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2011
the 'gold rush' for indium is now 'on'. Kudos for the Chinese space program to mine the moon while the world sleeps and the United States snores in blissful ignorance of its future poverty and enslavement.
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
And Indium was used in another story for terahertz transmission of data. Though I don't think it will be worth mining indium on the moon!

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