Monday, August 27, 2012

Ray of light could lead to next generation of superconductors

Ray of light could lead to next generation of superconductors: manipulating different types of light, including UV and visible light, he and his fellow researchers are able to alter the critical temperatures of superconducting materials...

In the lab, they put a thin layer, one organic molecule thick, atop a superconducting film, approximately 50 nanometers thick. When researchers shined a light on these molecules, the molecules stretched and changed shape, altering the properties of the superconducting film—most importantly, altering the critical temperature at which the material acted as a superconductor. The researchers tested three separate molecules. The first was able to increase the critical temperature of the superconducting film. With the second molecule, they found that shining an ultraviolet light heightened the material's critical temperature, while visible light lowered it. Finally, with the third molecule, they found that simply by turning a light on, critical temperature was raised—and lowered again when the light was switched off.

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