Scientists in Japan have discovered a new state of matter. The Jahn-Teller metal is able to change from an insulator to a conductor. It joins more than 15 other states of matter that are known of, and it could help create better superconductors. Shown is a stock image of a superconductor levitating above a magnet
The team made the discovery by studying a superconductor made from carbon-60 molecules or ?buckyballs?.
Researchers said the research could help develop new molecular materials that are superconductors at even higher temperatures.
The study, led by Kosmas Prassides, shows that the material has a rich combination of insulating, magnetic, metallic and superconducting phases ? including the otherwise unknown state, dubbed as ?Jahn-Teller metal?.
The research provides important clues about how the interplay between the electronic structure of the molecules and their spacing within the lattice can strengthen interactions between electrons that cause superconductivity.
Superconductors are a large and diverse group of materials that offer zero resistance to electrical currents when cooled below a critical temperature (TC).
Superconducting lattices of fullerides ? C60 plus three alkali-metal atoms ? have been studied for more than two decades, and provide an interesting test bed.
This research, described in Science Advances, involves caesium fulleride (Cs3C60) in a face-centred-cubic lattice with a Cs3C60 molecule at each lattice site.