Thursday, October 09, 2008

A New Class Of Fast, Power-Saving Electronics

U.S. researchers have developed ultrathin films that when sandwiched together form a superconductor, an advance that could lead to a new class of fast, power-saving electronics.

From N.Y. Times Scientists Make Ultrathin Superconducting Films

If cooled to the material's critical operating temperature, they have no resistance to the flow of electrical current, unlike ordinary electrical wires, which can eventually overheat.

"What we have done is we have put together two materials, neither of which is a superconductor, and we found their interface -- where they touch -- is superconducting," said physicist Ivan Bozovic of the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

What is Superconductivity?

Superconductivity is a phenomenon observed in several metals and ceramic materials. When these materials are cooled to temperatures ranging from near absolute zero (-459 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 degrees Kelvin, -273 degrees Celsius) to liquid nitrogen temperatures (-321 F, 77 K, -196 C), they have no electrical resistance.

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