Self-Assembing Superconducting Polymer Created

Building on nearly two decades’ worth of research, a multidisciplinary team from Cornell University has blazed a new trail by creating a self-assembled, three-dimensional gyroidal superconductor.  The material is not hard like magnets but a soft polymer consisting of tiny self-assembling diatoms.

Ulrich Wiesner, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Engineering, led the group, which included researchers in engineering, chemistry and physics.

It also opens the door for cheaper superconductors, as the process is straight out of the world of polymer material science with the world of physics, arenas that don’t have much crossover.

“In principle, the ease of processing polymers is now brought to making superconductors,” Wiesner observed.

The group’s findings are detailed in a paper published in Science Advances, Jan. 29. 2016.

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