Thursday, February 16, 2012

Iron-Based Superconductors...

National Institute of Standards and Technology
A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland has found an iron-based superconductor that operates at the highest known temperature for a material in its class.* The discovery inches iron-based superconductors—valued for their ease of manufacturability and other properties—closer to being useful in many practical applications.

Iron-based superconductors, which were discovered only about four years ago, are a hot research topic, in part because they are more amenable to commercial applications than copper-based superconductors, which are more difficult to make and are frequently brittle. Of the four broad classes of iron-based superconductors, the 1:2:2 class—so named because their crystals are built around a hub of one atom of calcium, two of iron and two of arsenic—is particularly promising because these superconductors’ properties can be custom-tailored by substituting other atoms for these basic elements.

NIST: Unusual 'Collapsing' Iron Superconductor Sets Record for Its Class

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