Superconductivity is a unique state of matter where quantum mechanics lead to the astonishing ability to transport electric energy completely loss-less. If we could discover materials with this property at ambient temperature, it would revolutionize how we tackle society's grand challenges from energy and information to health.
To date there exist two classes of superconducting materials. Conventional superconductors for which we have a theoretical understanding, but which require cooling below minus 250 degrees or extremely high pressures to function, making them impractical for all but a few applications (such as very expensive magnetic resonance imaging machines in hospitals). Unconventional superconductors have been discovered to function up to minus 100 degrees, and could potentially be discovered to function even at ambient temperature. However, in the absence of a good theory for unconventional superconductors, their discovery has so far been accidental. In this project we target key signatures of known high temperature superconductors and explore materials with similar signatures in the search for new high temperature superconductors.
This endeavor is a joint project between Institute of Physics at University of Zagreb and Laboratory for Quantum Magnetism at Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne. By joining forces, the collaboration will include all necessary steps for
exploring new classes of electronic materials with potential for unconventional superconductivity, from theoretical predictions over materials synthesis and characterization to state of the art transport and spectroscopic studies under extreme conditions of temperature, magnetic field and pressure. The collaboration will form a bridge between two institutes with complementary expertise and capabilities through which we envisage undergraduate and graduate student as well as scientific staff exchange.