New superconductor found

piceneA research group at Okayama University has found a new superconductor – doped picene.

“We are using chemistry to produce new physics,” says Professor Yoshihiro Kubozono at the Department of Chemistry of Okayama University, “our recent discovery that solid picene—a wide-bandgap semiconducting hydrocarbon—doped with potassium becomes superconducting at 7 K and 18 K is a good example because physicists are investigating the role of alkali dopants in organic compounds. We are the only group in the world focusing on superconducting picene.”

These results may find applications in the development of superconducting devices that dissipate extremely low energy.

Other areas of research being pursued by Kubozono and his group includes electrostatic carrier doping in two-dimensional materials such as graphene, and liquid ammonia based synthesis of metal intercalated FeSe superconductors.

Electrostatic carrier doping enables the control of electrons or holes at the interface between an ‘ionic liquid gate’ and the underlying material—analogous to the control of carrier channels in semiconducting gated field effect transistors.

“We have a wide range of activities on ionic liquid gated materials,” says Kubozono. “We recently reported on why is it difficult to realize high carrier density in graphene.”

Kubozono’s team works with Durham conducting experiments on the effect of pressure on the properties of superconductors.

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