Friday, November 26, 2010

No. 200: An organic superconductive material (November 27, 2010)

Organic materials supposed to be unsuitable for superconductivity attract worldwide attention. A research team participated by researchers of Okayama University and Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science found a material able to null electric resistance at about 80 degrees centigrade higher than the current level. Should this material be synthesized, the research has the possibility to become epoch-making. Currently, cooling a metal down to minus 259 degrees centigrade is required to make it superconductive. However, a researcher of Okayama University published an organic material that can be superconductive at four degrees centigrade higher than the existing level in the English science magazine Nature last March. He mixed potassium with picene that is an inexpensive oil component. The above research team showed the possibility of achieving superconductivity at minus 173 degrees centigrade if an organic substance phenanthrene is used in place of picene by theoretical calculation this month. Currently, all materials including ceramic have to be cooled to become superconductive. However, if the critical temperature to null electric resistance goes above minus 196 that is the temperature of liquid nitrogen, the technology will be totally practical.

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