HKUST scientists explain the theory behind Ising superconductivity

November 22, 2015

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. DOI:10.1126/science.aab2277

Professor Law and his student Yuan proposed that the lattice structure 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 electron pairs from being destroyed by external magnetic fields. 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 magnetic field, 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."
-end-


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.



Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Related Magnetic Field Articles from Brightsurf:

Investigating optical activity under an external magnetic field
A new study published in EPJ B by Chengping Yin, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Quantum Engineering and Quantum Materials, South China, aims to derive an analytical model of optical activity in black phosphorous under an external magnetic field.

Magnetic field and hydrogels could be used to grow new cartilage
Instead of using synthetic materials, Penn Medicine study shows magnets could be used to arrange cells to grow new tissues

Magnetic field with the edge!
This study overturns a dominant six-decade old notion that the giant magnetic field in a high intensity laser produced plasma evolves from the nanometre scale.

Global magnetic field of the solar corona measured for the first time
An international team led by Professor Tian Hui from Peking University has recently measured the global magnetic field of the solar corona for the first time.

Magnetic field of a spiral galaxy
A new image from the VLA dramatically reveals the extended magnetic field of a spiral galaxy seen edge-on from Earth.

How does Earth sustain its magnetic field?
Life as we know it could not exist without Earth's magnetic field and its ability to deflect dangerous ionizing particles.

Scholes finds novel magnetic field effect in diamagnetic molecules
The Princeton University Department of Chemistry publishes research this week proving that an applied magnetic field will interact with the electronic structure of weakly magnetic, or diamagnetic, molecules to induce a magnetic-field effect that, to their knowledge, has never before been documented.

Origins of Earth's magnetic field remain a mystery
The existence of a magnetic field beyond 3.5 billion years ago is still up for debate.

New research provides evidence of strong early magnetic field around Earth
New research from the University of Rochester provides evidence that the magnetic field that first formed around Earth was even stronger than scientists previously believed.

Massive photons in an artificial magnetic field
An international research collaboration from Poland, the UK and Russia has created a two-dimensional system -- a thin optical cavity filled with liquid crystal -- in which they trapped photons.

Read More: Magnetic Field News and Magnetic Field Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.