Researchers finally awaken Graphene's hidden superconducting property in its natural state - chaprama | Insights from the world of Technology and Lifestyle


Friday, January 20, 2017

Researchers finally awaken Graphene's hidden superconducting property in its natural state

Researchers have succeeded in awakening the hidden superconducting property of graphene in its natural state. Earlier researchers were able to make graphene superconductive under the influence of additional materials. This is the first time researchers are successful in exploiting the superconductivity (it can conduct electricity with zero resistance) of graphene in its natural state . in other words, it can conduct electricity with zero resistance.

Researchers finally awaken Graphene's hidden superconducting property in its natural state

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms that is stronger than steel,  flexible and highly conductive. It was discovered in 2004 and scientists felt graphene has the capacity to act as a superconductor. But until now they are able to make graphene superconductor by inserting calcium ions or by placing it on other superconducting materials.


Superconductors because of their ability to conduct large magnetic fields have numerous applications. For examples, they are used in scanning devices like MRI (magnetic resonance Imaging) and levitating trains. They are also used to make energy efficient power lines for storing energy for millions of years.

Research Team

The research was led by Dr. Angelo Di Bernardo and Dr. Jason Robinson, Fellows at St John's College, University of Cambridge, along with collaborators Professor Andrea Ferrari, from the Cambridge Graphene Centre; Professor Oded Millo, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Professor Jacob Linder, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Research Methodology

But now in the latest research, scientists were able to activate the hidden potential of graphene to superconduct.They achieved this by coupling graphene with praseodymium cerium copper oxide(PCCO). You may think this is similar to previous researchers, but it differs as PCCO properties have already been established. And any type of superconductivity can be attributed only to graphene.

PCCO has d-type superconductivity wherein electrons pair in an antiparallel direction that is called d-wave state. But when PCCO was coupled with graphene researchers found electron pairs to be in the p-wave state which differs from PCCO. The researchers also used a technique called scanning and tunneling microscopy to differentiate between superconductivity of Graphene and PCCO. So PCCO has only been used to release the hidden superconductivity of Graphene.

Future Scope

Graphene can be used for creating new types of superconductors that run without resistance and can be used more efficiently in medical technology. Also, it could lead to the creation of a wide variety of superconducting devices in Applied and Fundamental research. P-wave superconductivity was proposed by Japanese researchers in 1994 found evidence in strontium ruthenate but were unable to prove its existence in the crystal due to bulky nature. The new research could be helpful in proving the existence of the strange form of p-wave superconductivity that was lying unverified for more than 20 years.

The research was published in Nature communications

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