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Graphene shows signs of superconductivity

With extra ingredients, flat form of carbon displays evidence of resistance-free current

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4:29pm, September 4, 2015
different versions of graphene

GRAPHENE ADDITIVE  Pure graphene (a) is a great conductor. But graphene doped with calcium (d) is a superconductor at low temperatures, a new study demonstrates. Trials with potassium (b) and cesium (c) showed no superconductivity.

Chalk up another superpower for the thinnest material on the planet.

When sprinkled with certain atoms, graphene — a flat sheet of honeycombed carbon atoms — conducts electrical current with no resistance at low temperatures, four research teams report. While graphene has awed scientists with its conducting prowess for over a decade, this is the first evidence that the wonder material can be a superconductor.

The research groups, which all reported their findings in separate papers posted online at arXiv.org the week of August 24, used different approaches to test for superconductivity and came up with some conflicting results. Nonetheless, “the evidence for superconductivity is completely convincing,” says Allan MacDonald, a theoretical condensed matter physicist at the University of Texas at Austin who was not involved with any of the studies. Follow-up research could help scientists better understand superconductivity and how it works in

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