Nanoscale Superconductor Found

Slashdot links to a Thinq article that explains researchers led by the University of Ohio have discovered a superconductor made up of as few as four pairs of molecules. As the story goes on to explain, one of the problems with building devices at the nanoscale is that traditional interconnects produce too much heat as the element size shrinks, a function of electrical resistance. The heat produced by such traditional metallic interconnects can melt the components to which they connect.

A superconductor as an alternative makes sense as resistance is exactly zero, eliminating this overheating problem. What the article does not explain is at which temperature this material superconducts. Traditionally, superconductors only exhibit this much desired quality at very low temperatures. If true, here, it would sort of defeat the point.

2 Replies to “Nanoscale Superconductor Found”

  1. A nitpick: A superconductor’s resistance is not “essentially zero”, it IS zero. Therefore, no heat will be produced by the superconducting segments when current is applied. But you’re correct about the temperature needing to be low for all the superconductors discovered so far – the “warmest” is 138 K, or -135 C, colder than dry ice, so at this point I’d think researchers would be looking at liquid nitrogen as a cooling agent.

    1. I thought so but didn’t fact check so used “essentially” to hedge. I’ve updated the post to change that to “exactly”. Thanks for the fact check.

      Also glad of the confirmation on the temperature range of superconductors in general.

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