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Superconducting: The heat is on

The quest for new materials exhibiting high-temperature superconductivity may be about to explode into life again. In Nature this week, a team of researchers in Japan demonstrate the highest temperature yet reported for a non-copper-based material.

An iron-based layered element was recently found to exhibit a transition temperature of around 26 Kelvin, which, although respectable, is far from the lofty heights achieved with copper oxide superconductors. Hiroki Takahashi and colleagues show that the application of pressure can raise the superconducting transition temperature of this material substantially, to a maximum value of about 43 Kelvin.

This new record may not last for long, as the material system offers considerable flexibility for chemical modification and so could soon be superseded.

Nature 453, 7193 table of contents

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