Search and Discovery
Defects and thermodynamic instability play a major role in oxide superconductors. Understanding these issues is one important step to optimal synthesis of high‐Tc superconductors.
It is not enough to know what the ideal structures are, because superconducting properties depend very much on structural defects—and on the arrangement of defects.
High critical temperatures are not the only interesting property of cuprate superconductors. An accumulation of consistent experimental results hints at the unusual nature of the metallic state above Tc.
The give‐and‐take between two solid‐state theorists offers insight into materials with high superconducting transition temperatures and illustrates the kind of thinking that goes into developing a new theory.
Only five years after the discovery of high‐temperature superconductors, researchers have succeeded in developing a variety of useful circuits and devices using thin films of these new materials.
What has become of the great expectations of 1987? Achieving critical currents high enough for practical magnet applications is no easy matter with materials as complex as the high‐temperature superconducting compounds. But prospects are now very bright.