News of the WeekGerman Physical Society

A New Take on Doping in Iron-Based Superconductors

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Science  24 Apr 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5926, pp. 452-453
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_452a

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At the German Physical Society meeting, researchers reported on new data suggesting that a key step in making both iron-based and copper-based superconductors--"doping" them with impurities--plays a very different role in each of the two families. In the cuprates, doping produces superconductivity by adjusting the number of electrons in the current-carrying copper-and-oxygen planes. But in the iron-and-arsenic compounds, doping appears to induce superconductivity by altering the material's crystal structure.