The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

Superstructures add to superconducting mystery

The discovery of oxygen "superstructures" in cuprate materials by two independent teams of physicists could help shed new light on the origins of high-temperature superconductivity, which has been one of the biggest mysteries in physics for almost 20 years. The results, which back up theoretical predictions made almost 15 years ago, suggest that the "stripes" of charge found in some high-temperature superconductors might not be as closely related to the ability of these materials to carry currents without resistance as was previously thought.

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