ch1 - 1 History of Superconductivity: Conventional,...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 History of Superconductivity: Conventional, High-Transition Temperature and Novel Superconductors K. H. Bennemann Dept. of Physics, Freie Universit¨at Berlin, Germany J. B. Ketterson Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA 1.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.2 Novel Superconductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.3 Granular Superconductors, Mesoscopic Systems, Josephson Junctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 1.4 Outlook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 1.1 Introduction Since its discovery by H. Kamerlingh Onnes in Lei- den [1] almost 100 years ago, superconductivity has remained an important area of solid state physics with continuing surprises. Its first observation in Hg, illustrated for historical reasons in Fig. 1.1, resulted from general advances in low temperature physics (liquefying He). The important continuing discovery Fig. 1.1. Illustration of Kamerlingh Onnes’ discovery of su- perconductivity and vanishing of the electrical resistivity in 1911 of new superconductors resulted from advances in material science physics. By 1980 superconductivity had been observed in many metals and alloys thereof. For an illustration see Fig. 1.2 [2]. Remarkably, the classical ferromagnets like Ni, Fe, etc. did not exhibit superconductivity. Only for the non-magnetic state and under (strong) pressure has superconductivity been reported (for example in iron, T c = 2K) [3]. From the beginning a strong motivation was to find superconductors with a high transition temperature T c . However, until about 1980 the A-15 compound Nb 3 Ge remained the superconductor with the high- est T c at about 30 K, see Fig. 1.3. In order to achieve higher T c values also many alloys and the effect of applying pressure were studied. Soon after 1980 exciting new superconductors be- longing to rather different material classes were dis- covered. The situation including the high T c cuprate superconductors discovered by Bednorz and M¨uller [4] in 1986 is illustrated in Fig. 1.4. For several rea- sons this tremendously stimulated the minds of the physics community. High- T c cuprate superconduc- tivity exhibited puzzling new behavior. Perhaps this helped the birth of new surprises which were yet to come....
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ch1 - 1 History of Superconductivity: Conventional,...

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