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Neutron Scattering: Rethinking the Role of Magnetic Fluctuations in High Temperature Superconductivity

17 October 2016

Neutron Scattering

Left: At JCNS researchers use the cold three-axis spectrometer PANDA to study the magnetic excitations associated with unconventional superconductivity.
Copyright: Heddergott/Eckert, Technische Universität München
Right: Hundreds of tiny samples of unconventional superconductors known as heavy fermions had to be aligned and glued onto aluminium plates for imaging in inelastic neutron scattering experiments.
Copyright: Yu Song/Rice University

Since the discovery of high temperature superconductivity, researchers have tried to find out why these materials already become superconducting at comparatively high temperatures. Neutron scattering experiments at the outstation of the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum in Garching near Munich as well as at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, suggest a need to rethink the role of magnetic fluctuations in the formation of this phenomenon.

This kind of magnetic excitation occurs in all unconventional superconductors close to the transition temperature. Two models are being considered as possible causes; the outcome of the international team’s experiments are in good agreement with one of them.

Further information:

Original publication:
Song, Y. et al.
Robust upward dispersion of the neutron spin resonance in the heavy fermion superconductor Ce1−xYbxCoIn5.
Nat. Commun. 7:12774 doi: 10.1038/ncomms12774 (2016). news: “Neutron-scattering experiments explore origins of high-temp superconductivity“, D. Ruth, 30.9.2016