Japanese Scientists discovered a new state of matter called the Jahn-Teller-metal. The matter resembles an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one.
The study led by Kosmas Prassides, Scientist at Tokohu University made the discovery by studying a superconductor made from carbon-60 molecules or buckyballs.
The research was described in Science Advances. It involves caesium fulleride (Cs3C60) in a face-centred-cubic lattice with a Cs3C60 molecule at each lattice site. The research could help develop new molecular materials that are superconductors at even higher temperatures.
The study shows that the material has a rich combination of insulating, magnetic, metallic and superconducting phases – including the otherwise unknown state, dubbed as Jahn-Teller metal.
The research provides important clues about how the interplay between the electronic structure of the molecules and their spacing within the lattice can strengthen interactions between electrons that cause superconductivity.
Superconductors are a large and diverse group of materials that offer zero resistance to electrical currents when cooled below a critical temperature (TC). Superconducting lattices of fullerides – C60 plus three alkali-metal atoms – have been studied for more than two decades, and provide an interesting test bed.