Organic Superconductors—New Benchmarks

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5012, pp. 1501-1508
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5012.1501


Recent advances in the design and synthesis of organic synthetic metals have yielded materials that have the highest superconducting transition temperatures (Tc ≈ 13 kelvin) reported for these systems. These materials have crystal structures consisting of alternating layers of organic donor molecules and inorganic anions. Organic superconductors have various electronic and magnetic properties and crystal structures that are similar to those of the inorganic copper oxide superconductors (which have high Tc values); these similarities include highly anisotropic conductivities, critical fields, and short coherence lengths. The largest number of organic superconductors, including those with the highest Tc values, are charge-transfer salts derived from the electron donor molecule BEDT-TTF or ET [bis(ethylenedithio)-tetrathiafulvalene]. The synthesis and crystal structures of these salts are discussed; their electrical, magnetic, and band electronic structure properties and their many similarities to the copper oxide superconductors are treated as well.