Monday, May 23, 2011
New superconductive properties discovered in old sandwich material: The first part of the process, which had already been established, works by adding a drop of ionic liquid onto a set of electrodes that have been placed on a base of KTaO3. Doing so causes a double layer to form between the materials with a gap between them of approximately 2nm. When electricity is sent to the electrodes, the charge adheres electrostatically to either side of the gap, creating a sort of capacitor. The next part is new; this is where the team subjected the result to lowered temperatures, measuring the conductivity across the gap as they went. They found that as things got colder the conductivity changed; first, from that of an insulator, then to that of a metal, then to a semiconductor and finally, to that of a superconductor, at around 0.005K, very close to absolute zero.