Rare-Earths as Probes of High-Temperature Superconductivity

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Using only two principles: (i) high-temperature superconductivity requires hypercharged oxygen, and (ii) the superconducting condensates are located in those parts of the crystal structures where they are unaffected by magnetic pair breaking, we are able to explain why certain rare-earth ions R are compatible with superconductivity and others are not, in the compounds RBa2Cu3O7, RBa2Cu4O8, RBa2Cu2NbO8, R2 − zCezCuO4, and R2 − zCezSr2Cu2NbO10. Various defects are proposed as having central roles in the superconductivity or the suppression of superconductivity in these compounds. Many experiments for testing this physical picture are suggested.

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