Beefing up thin-film superconductivity

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Science  05 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6214, pp. 1196
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6214.1196-c

Conventional superconductors, such as lead, owe their exotic properties to the interaction of electrons and lattice vibrations. In contrast, in the more recently discovered iron-based superconductors (IBSs), magnetic interactions are thought to play a major role. Lee et al. show that in thin films of the IBS FeSe deposited on SrTiO3, a combination of the two mechanisms may be at play. Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, they discovered a vibrational mode of the SrTiO3 substrate that interacts with the electrons in FeSe. The interaction roughly doubles the temperature at which the film becomes superconducting, when compared with bulk IBSs with similar electronic structures.

Nature 515, 245 (2014).

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