Researchers at EPFL‘s Laboratory of Quantum Materials (QMAT) have created a metallic micro-device in which they can define and tune patterns of superconductivity. Their discovery holds great promise for quantum technologies of the future.
The total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors is a property called the phase. Quantum computers may use these phases to perform calculations. Conventional superconductors are very robust and hard to influence, and the challenge is to find new materials in which the superconducting state can be easily manipulated in a device.
The team proved that CeIrIn5 which is a metal that superconducts at 0.4°C above absolute zero, could be produced with superconducting regions coexisting alongside regions in a normal metallic state. (EPFL)