A diode is an electronic component that conducts current with low resistance in one direction and with high resistance in the opposite direction. Usually, diodes are made out of semiconducting materials forming p–n junctions, which can be used to realize various electronic functionalities, such as rectifiers and photodetectors. Now, Teruo Ono and coworkers report a magnetically controllable superconducting diode that has zero resistance in only one direction. The effect is realized in an artificially engineered superlattice of metallic layers and is caused by the simultaneous breaking of inversion and time-reversal symmetry in the material. The zero-resistance diode enables directional charge transport without energy loss at low temperatures and is an essential component with which to build non-dissipative electronic circuits.
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