Physicists from MIEM NISHE, together with colleagues from MIPT and other universities, have made a significant breakthrough in the study of superconductivity. Superconductivity is a phenomenon in which a material conducts electric current without any energy loss. The researchers have developed a theory that explains the transition between different types of superconductivity and reveals a transition regime with exotic magnetic properties. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize sensor technology, enabling the development of highly sensitive and accurate sensors that can function effectively in conditions where traditional sensors fall short. The research has been published in the journal Communications Physics.
The concept of superconductivity was discovered in the early 20th century, but it has only been achievable at low temperatures. The ability to achieve superconductivity at room temperature would be groundbreaking for electronics. There are two main types of superconductors: the first type excludes the presence of a magnetic field within the superconductor, while the second type allows it. Typically, these two types of superconductors are made up of different materials. However, there is a unique class of materials called ferromagnetic superconductors, in which a transition from one type of superconductivity to another is possible.
In this study, scientists from the Higher School of Economics, IFTI, and several other Russian and international institutions focused on investigating the transition between types of superconductivity in ferromagnetic superconductors. They discovered that the transition from the first type to the second occurs within a specific temperature range, specifically between the temperature of magnetic ordering and the temperature of the superconducting transition. During this transitional state, complex spatial structures known as “patterns” of magnetization and superconducting condensate form within the material. These structures are highly responsive to changes in external conditions such as temperature, electric fields, or magnetic fields.
Alexei Vagov, the director of the Center for Quantum Metamaterials at MIEM NIU Higher School, commented on the significance of these findings. He explained that just as temperature sensors are made from metals or semiconductors whose resistance changes with temperature, the “patterns” in a magnetic superconductor can be the foundation for a new type of sensors. These sensors could have advanced sensitivity and pave the way for innovative applications.