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Search for Novel Superconductor

Ko Munakata
Malcolm Beasley
Theodore Geballe

Our goal is to design and synthesize novel superconductors that will deepen our understanding of physics of superconductivity and may help future innovation of superconductor-based technology. Specifically, we adopt two different search strategies, without ever resorting to brute force search of new materials.

The first way is to examine various theoretical proposals and models of superconductivity and try to imitate those models in a real experimental systems. We are currently working on some models based on the interface of metals and various exotic insulators.

The second way is to examine trace superconductivity observed by some groups in the past but left unexamined carefully because of low reproducibility. Here we synthesize more controlled and cleaner samples in order to unveil the real physical properties of trace superconductors. Our current interest in this line is carbon- and graphite-based materials.

In order to synthesize various epitaxial thin films and heterostructures, we use a (ultra-)high vacuum system with the capabilities of both molecular beam epitaxy and pulsed laser deposition. In this chamber, we can examine the chemical and electronic properties of the films by RHEED, LEED, XPS and UPS without exposing the samples in air. There are also many standard and not so standard measurements we can take advantage of in our building.

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