Inelastic neutron scattering experiments on a copper oxide superconductor reveal quasi-static and spatially modulated magnetism. Since static magnetism and superconductivity don’t like to coexist in the same material, the superconducting wave function is also likely spatially modulated and phase-shifted to minimize overlap, according to recent theory.
New knowledge regarding the coexistence of superconductivity and atomic magnetism will contribute to the development of a predictive theory of high temperature superconductivity, which can aid in the design and discovery of new superconductors with improved properties.
Observation of the coexistence of magnetism and superconductivity in a particular copper oxide superconductor suggests that the two types of order can be spatially modulated and intertwined, supporting recent theoretical predictions. Understanding the relationship between superconductivity and one type of atomic magnetic correlation (antiferromagnetism, in which neighboring atomic spins are oriented in opposite directions) remains a challenge. Magnetism is associated with the location of electrons, whereas superconductivity is a state in which electrons are paired and can flow without resistance.
Previous experiences have shown that these two states do not like to coexist in the same space. Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory characterized the slow magnetic fluctuations in a copper oxide superconductor. Their discovery shows that slowly fluctuating magnetism does not disappear in the superconducting state; in fact, it gets louder at the lower fluctuating frequencies.
The intertwined state of superconductivity and antiferromagnetism that has been proposed by theorists provides a probable explanation for the observations. These results indicate an intimate link between superconductivity and magnetism in copper oxides, an important clue for developing a predictive theory of high temperature superconductivity.
A potential Rosetta stone for high temperature superconductivity
“Neutron scattering evidence for a periodically modulated superconducting phase in the under-doped cuprate La1.905Ba0.095CuO4, ” Physical examination letters 113, 177002, 2014. DOI: 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.113.177002
Quote: Intertwining of superconductivity and magnetism (2015, April 28) retrieved December 29, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-intertwining-superconductivity-magnetism.html
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