There is a new discovered superconducting material called strontium titanate (SrTiO3). It is found to conduct electricity without any resistance at low temperatures, however, it is not a metal. It is a mystery for the physicians as this material does not obey the current theories.
The studies on this new material
Recently, there is a new study at Stanford university held by SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) which is a United States Department of Energy.
They found that strontium titanate is a special material. Although it is considered to be a superconductor, but it seems to behave in an opposite way to the superconducting material.
Harold Hwang, one of the researchers at Stanford university, said, “This is a system where everything is upside down,”
Adrian Swartz, an author of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, explained, “It’s one of a large number of materials we call ‘unconventional’ superconductors because they can’t be explained by current theories. By studying its extreme behavior. We hope to gain insight into the ingredients that lead to superconductivity in these unconventional materials, including the ones that operate at higher temperatures.”
Why this material differs from the superconducting metals
At low temperatures, the superconducting metals conduct the electricity with nearly zero resistance. From 1911 till now, it was thought that metals are only the superconducting materials. But the strontium titanate changed this belief. It is a superconductor as well as non-metal.
To know the way how this material works, the researchers required advanced techniques. Hwang says, “The desire to do this experiment has been there for decades, but it’s been a technical challenge,”.
They analyzed the behavior of this material using the spectroscopy to determine the energy and position of particles within the strontium titanate. They were shocked by the results.
Whereas the superconducting metals have plenty of electrons that oscillate through the atoms, the strontium titanate behaves in an entirely different way. It has fewer free electrons, but its atoms vibrate instead. Hwang explains, “Thus, strontium titanate seems to be an unconventional superconductor that acts like a conventional one in some respects,”.
Finally, it is obvious that there are many researches required in this field as everyday scientists discover new amazing materials.
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