Scientists explain the theory behind Ising superconductivity

November 23, 2015, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
a) Maximum magnetic field Bc2 (normalized) at which superconductivity can survive versus temperature T. Filled circles are data taken from MoS2 thin films. Without taken into account internal magnetic fields generated by the lattice structure of MoS2, Bc2 cannot exceed 1. b) Taking into account the internal magnetic fields, the experimental data can be well explained theoretically. Credit: The Physics Department, HKUST

Superconductivity is a fascinating quantum phenomenon in which electrons form pairs and flow with zero resistance. However, strong enough magnetic field can break electron pairs and destroy superconductivity. Surprisingly, experimental groups led by Prof. Ye and Prof. Zeitler in Groningen and Nijmegen found that superconductivity in thin films of MoS2 could withstand an applied magnetic field as strong as 37 Tesla.

An explanation for the phenomenon was needed and Prof. Law's theory group at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology promptly solved the puzzle. The collective findings were published on 12 November in Science.

Professor Law and his student Yuan proposed that the of MoS2 thin films allows the moving electrons in the material to experience strong internal magnetic fields of about 100 Tesla. This special type of internal magnetic fields, instead of damaging superconductivity, protects the superconducting from being destroyed by . They called this type of superconductors, "Ising superconductors". They also predict that many other superconductors, which have similar lattice structure as MoS2, would fall into the same family of "Ising superconductors" as well.

In addition to their survivability under a strong , Professor Law's team pointed out that Ising superconductors can be used to create a new type of particles called Majorana fermions. These Majorana fermions would have potential applications in making quantum computers. "Many novel properties and applications of Ising superconductors have yet to be discovered," Professor Law said.

"Now that we understand the mechanism of how certain materials become resistant to interference from external magnetic fields, we can look for materials with similar characteristics to those of superconducting MoS2." Professor Law said. "I am sure we will unearth more Ising superconductors soon."

Explore further: Superconductor survives ultra-high magnetic field

Related Stories

Superconductor survives ultra-high magnetic field

November 12, 2015

Physicists from the universities of Groningen and Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and Hong Kong have discovered that transistors made of ultrathin layers molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) are not only superconducting at low temperatures ...

Superconducting secrets solved after 30 years

June 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —A breakthrough has been made in identifying the origin of superconductivity in high-temperature superconductors, which has puzzled researchers for the past three decades.

Heat makes electrons spin in magnetic superconductors

April 24, 2015

Physicists have shown how heat can be exploited for controlling magnetic properties of matter. The finding helps in the development of more efficient mass memories. The result was published yesterday in Physical Review Letters. ...

Recommended for you

How community structure affects the resilience of a network

June 22, 2018

Network theory is a method for analyzing the connections between nodes in a system. One of the most compelling aspects of network theory is that discoveries related to one field, such as cellular biology, can be abstracted ...

Water can be very dead, electrically speaking

June 21, 2018

In a study published in Science this week, the researchers describe the dielectric properties of water that is only a few molecules thick. Such water was previously predicted to exhibit a reduced electric response but it ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Nov 24, 2015
Think of current flow as 1 dimensional. Make an assumption the charge is a point charge, 0 dimension then current flow will be a line, of any shape. For super conductivity one solution is obviously is a laminar flow, thus a definition of the field for a single line then multiple lines. Two dimensions will obey the same rule. When trying to define super-conductivity in 3D then this would define the entire 3D material, possible but unlikely. So the number of lines defines one measure of conductivity; however, a plane is much better. Stay with the E field, if one wishes to remove magnetism remove any turbulence, i.e. any curl upon the E field or find 2 points or two lines relative to each other that see no curl. Thus a curl may exist within the object but a 1 dimensional or 2 dimensional space for current flow may also exist. Tough since the sources are particles. Define a superposition, best with a CPU, that will define the zero for you. Pretty simple to define, tricky to build

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.