Nickel Oxide Material Made with 'Jenga Chemistry' Shows Superconductivity - A First

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have made the first nickel oxide material that shows clear signs of superconductivity, which is the ability to transmit electrical current with no loss. Also known as a nickelate, it’s the first in a potential new family of unconventional superconductors that’s very similar to copper oxides, or cuprates. This discovery could help crack the mystery of how high-temperature superconductors work. To create the new type of superconducting material, the scientists first made a thin film of a common material known as perovskite, “doped” it with strontium, and then exposed it to a chemical that yanked out a layer of oxygen atoms, much like removing a stick from a tower of Jenga blocks. This made the film flip into a different atomic structure known as a nickelate. Tests showed that this nickelate can conduct electricity with no resistance.