© CEA-GONIN The neutron guides of the Orphée reactor, in Saclay, direct the neutron flux, generated in the heart of the reactor, to the sample.
The neutron guides of the Orphée reactor, in Saclay, direct the neutron flux, generated in the heart of the reactor, to the sample.
Using Orphée, the highest neutron flux medium-size reactor in Europe, scientists from CNRS and CEA, led by Dr. Philippe Bourges,1 have made a major advance in the process of understanding superconductivity in high-temperature superconductors like copper oxides.2
Superconductivity is a state that occurs in certain metallic materials when cooled to extremely low temperatures. It is characterized by, among other things, the loss of all electrical resistance, meaning that once generated, the electrical current will flow on forever. Understanding superconductivity, which takes place when the normal metallic state becomes unstable, requires understanding the nature of the normal state itself.
Using neutron scattering3 on high-temperature superconductors,
But more experiments are needed to further explain the origin of this novel magnetic state, and to understand its role in superconductivity. A challenging goal, since developing room-temperature superconductors could potentially trigger a new industrial revolution.
1. Laboratoire Léon Brillouin (LLB) (CNRS / CEA joint lab). www-llb.cea.fr
2. B. Fauqué et al., “Magnetic order in the pseudogap phase of high-Tc superconductors,” Phys. Rev. Letters. 96: 197001. 2006.
3. “Neutron Scattering” is the deflection of neutron particles caused by interaction in a material. It provides an ideal tool for the study of almost all forms of condensed matter.
4. C. M. Varma, “Theory of the pseudogap state of the cuprates,” Phys. Rev. B. 73: 155113. 2006.